We’re just starting our third year of homeschooling, so I’m still very much in the gee-I-really-hope-I-know-what-I’m-doing phase. I have found that I keep having these mini-epiphanies about my own education and applying them to my students. Today I’m sharing three lessons I’ve learned so far.
Teach the child you have. Sometimes my ideas about the way I want to teach are not the same as the way they need me to teach. My oldest child and my middle child are the best of friends, but also total opposites in so many ways. One is all about assignment lists and folders and calendars and having a workbook or printout in front of her. The other needs way more free time and hands-on activities and learning through play. I’m so much more like my older one in this respect, but I must be cognizant that my younger one has her own style and I need to encourage her in different ways.
Everything happens in its own time. Believe it or not, there is no rush to learn . . . anything. It doesn’t matter if “all” first graders are doing xyz, or if someone declares students must be able to [fill in the blank with a random skill] by a certain age. Some subjects that I would love to explore with them they simply don’t have an interest in (yet). I don’t worry about them falling behind or missing out. Education is not a race. They have their whole lives to explore; I’m just a temporary tour guide.
There is no magic formula to the order of how concepts are taught in school. Yes, there is some degree of building on earlier skills, but with most things it doesn’t really matter. You don’t have to teach magnets in first grade, fractions in second grade, and cursive in third. If your five-year-old is reading early chapter books, you probably don’t need to backtrack and make her do phonics worksheets. If your seven-year-old wants to learn to multiply and divide before mastering addition with carrying, by all means, go for it. The best laid plans are no match for your child’s natural curiosity.
What lessons have you learned on your journey as a homeschooling parent?
Valerie is a Navy wife and homeschooling Momma to three Secret Agents. She writes about her adventures at http://mommainprogress.blogspot.com and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mommainprogress.