My Best Advice
My best advice to anyone who is homeschooling their child or children is, the only thing you have to teach your kids is how to learn. By law (in Texas) you have to teach math, reading, spelling, grammar, and good citizenship but if you can teach them how to learn on their own they can learn anything they want to.
Real Life Application
Wow! That sounds so simple! Don’t worry there is no part of homeschooling that is simple. Aside from the daily frustration of actually completing schoolwork and also doing real life, there are so many curriculum to choose from. If that is not frustrating enough, it always seems as though all the other homeschooling families have it together, the perfect curriculum, perfect kids who are going to Harvard at the age of 3, and here you are struggling to get out of pj’s each day. Guess what? Pj’ and struggles, that is what homeschooling really is! You are fostering an enjoyment for learning. This chaos is real life not a socialized structured day. I think we do a disservice to ourselves and our kids when we try to homeschool on a public school level. Public schools need to have a rigid structure because they are schooling so many kids with different learning ability’s, different social backgrounds, and different home lives.
Where to Start
First, these babies need to know how to read. If there is a subject that interests them they can always dig deeper on their own and expand their knowledge once they have the ability to read. Reading also builds the independence needed to handle their own school work on a daily basis. Being responsible for their own school work builds personal responsibility and a strong foundation for studying.
From personal experience, I would not start teaching a child to read until they are curious about it and can handle the lessons without total frustration. My first child was going to be a child prodigy, in my mind. I was going to start early and push hard. This did not foster a love of learning at all. If anything she has struggled more than my other kids with learning because of our “false start”. I will tell you, she now loves to read anything and everything about animals and loves science. From the opposite, one of my other daughters was so excited to learn to read she almost taught herself by memorizing sight words because I wasn’t moving fast enough.
What Does our Day Look Like
Well….things are kind of crazy right now. As if they aren’t normally crazy..ha ha ha! I’m helping my sister with her kids’ homeschooling. We pack up our school work and head to my sisters house for the day. Her 3 kids are using an online accredited program that it is pretty rigid and totally against my grain. But it has been a great opportunity to see where my 5 kids need some improvement. Ughem, penmanship! But here’s me comparing my situation to someone else’s…hehehe. So, at my sisters house my niece and nephews are working on their online class instruction and I am able to guide my little kids through their lessons. My big kids begin their lessons. We currently use textbooks (switched from computer based) so they read their lesson and do the associated book work. Then all of a sudden everyone is done and I am feverishly checking and grading EVERYONE’S school work to make sure there isn’t anything missed (or intentionally skipped, ya, kids do that, weird, huh?!) . My kiddos are usually done by lunch time and my niece and nephews are done around 2pm.
It’s not perfect! We miss days of school work. Sometimes you just need a day to play outside, work in the garden, meet friends at the park, catch bugs, or just be lazy. Enjoy this special time you have with your babies because they won’t be babies long. Make good memories and nourish that childhood curiosity. A thought on curriculum…try as many as you want (or can afford…hehehe). There is not one perfect curriculum. It’s kind of fun trying different learning and teaching techniques. It’s always fun changing things up a bit too.
If you are just starting out homeschooling and have questions…Please, I’d love to hear from you, answer questions, or just offer some encouragement.
Blessings in learning!