It’s that time of year again! Time to start making important decisions regarding academics for our children. Shall we homeschool? And if so, what curricula choices should we consider. Do we stick with what we have been using? Do we try something new, some new essays help 24/7 services? With all the choices available, it is difficult to know what to choose and when to try using it. Do you feel like you are caught in a cyclone of curricula choices? Are you being tossed around in a whirlwind; wanting what’s best for your child? (Me too!) If you do not already know what works for you; if your children do not love learning; the following is for you!
Many articles and books tell you to stick with one choice, your kids will adjust. I beg to differ with this line of thinking. I don’t want my children to simply adjust, I want them to have fun, to be engaged and to develop a lifelong love for learning! Does this sound like something similar to what you are aiming for?
While I have used many a summer to “try on” different ways of learning, I usually stick with what we have planned for the school year, and try very hard not to switch things around on them in mid-stream. It is so nice when you happen upon the perfect educational system for your children are young or just starting to homeschool. But if you don’t find it… keep looking. Don’t bounce around too much though, children need consistency. But they also need to enjoy what they are doing or you are just out for a major headache.
Here are some crucial considerations for your journey: 1) Learn how they learn, 2) Learn what they love, 3) Learn what resources to utilize. As you can see, learning is for everyone.
Here’s a “go to” plan for learning what your children love. Choose three to five various methods of learning to ‘try on’ over the next few months. Spend about four weeks on each option. If your children really dislike something you’re trying, ditch it and move on! You don’t have to spend four solid weeks enduring something they (or you) can’t tolerate. In about three weeks you will have a good idea weather they like it, love it, or hate it. Spending less than three weeks does not usually give enough time to fully experience the material and understand what you are doing. If your child(ren) are not wanting to stop at the four week mark, by all means keep going! When your child(ren) are engaged, experiencing positive challenges and enjoying what they are doing; you are on the right track.
These are just a few helpful hints and resources to give you a baseline for discovering how your child learns, what your child enjoys, and where to find what you need. Some will work for you, others will not. Embrace the flexibility that is learning; take what you need and leave the rest!
Our family has tried some of these and others. When we first started to learn how to notebook, it lead to lapbooking. Lapbooking quickly lead to a complete and total enjoyment of learning for my kiddos. Now we are doing many lapbooks as well as our strong literature based studies. We really enjoy reading and I’ve created many unit studies around books for my children. This way, we can read what they love as well as learn things like history, geography, and other subjects along the way with our lapbooks. We still use worksheets for math, but recently are venturing into math lapbooks as well.
It really is important to invest the time in knowing and understanding your child(ren). Investigate their learning styles. Explore what they love. Utilize the resources that support their abilities and their enjoyment. If they hate it; stop it! The most important thing to remember when homeschooling is this: Make learning FUN and they will remember more of the information you are trying to impart!