Are you new to homeschooling? Maybe you’re a veteran but you have decided to try a new method? Maybe, you are just looking for more information, or new inspiration?
In our home we are very eclectic, isn’t everyone? No two children learn exactly the same, so why should we teach them in the same way! This is the beauty of homeschooling! Maybe you are very traditional, you like a boxed set of curriculum with workbooks and worksheets and all the bells and whistles, or maybe you are at the other end of the spectrum and you don’t use books or a set curriculum at all! The beauty of homeschooling is that you can toss out all your preconceived ideas of what “school” should look like and develop your very own philosophy of education customized to the needs of your child(ren).
Do you have a very hands on child? Maybe he comes across to the world as being “hyper” or “adhd”, but you (mom) know that this child is simply learning in a different way! Your little bundle of energy doesn’t learn well when tied to a desk and chair filling in blanks, it’s as simple as that. So, what do you do? You decide that your homeschool is going to be oriented around your child’s kinesthetic tendencies. If you are new to the world of homeschooling, you might not understand what this would look like so I will give a few examples:
1.) Make letters with playdoh
2.) Make letters with your body (remember the old YMCA song?)
3.) Learn to count jumping jacks or how many times you can jump rope or by counting how long it takes to run from one point to another!
4.) Learn science through nature observation, then drawing, writing, or researching the things your child loves in nature, like butterflies or squirrels!
5.) If you feel you MUST force your child to sit at a desk, try allowing the “seat” to be a large exercise ball that the child can bounce/balance on while doing the work 🙂 but truly I DON’T recommend forcing the issue….what’s wrong with working while standing?
Do you have an auditory learner? This child learns BEST through HEARING the information presented to him orally by his “teacher/mom”. Good ideas for this child, would be to incorporate singing, reading aloud, and games that teach concepts. Here are a few Ideas:
1.) Singing math facts, spelling words, etc
2.) Reading stories aloud, and asking comprehension questions orally.
3.) To encourage writing FIRST have the child TELL you the story while you write it, THEN have the child COPY the story he constructed. (Later in elementary school, age 4th grade and up, the child will TELL and then WRITE the story).
4.) Always have the child RETELL you any story he has read to himself, this will reinforce comprehension.
Do you have a visual learner? This child learns BEST through what he is able to see/read. Give him a Lego set and book of instructions, and this child will seem like a prodigy as he speeds through building even the most complex structures! Likewise, written instruction and written work will be his forte`.
1.) Copying facts that need to be retained will be the best solution.
2.) Standard boxed sets of curriculum will likely work just fine
3.) Sitting and filling in blanks on worksheets will teach this child well.
You’re starting to get the idea, right?
The premiere home education will incorporate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities into as many learning activities as possible! There is a quote by Benjamin Frankin that best speaks to how all children ultimately learn, “Tell me and I will forget, Teach me and I will remember, INVOLVE ME and I LEARN”. Let these wise words of a most notable gentleman in our history be your guide as you educate your child.
As you venture into the wide open spaces of homeschooling, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to educate your child, unless you actively choose not to educate them at all. You are your child’s best advocate, first teacher, and most invested mentor. You have a vested interest in the outcome of this adventure, no teacher in a public school will have this. You must take a step back and a good long look at the way in which your child learns the best, and then go forward utilizing methods which will best benefit him. No child in a public school will receive this beautiful customized education, designed and suited specifically to their very own needs, goals, and strengths. Keep in mind that your homeschool will never look like mine, neither will your child, every child is unique and special and learns in their own way with their own quirks. Learn to embrace this, make it your first priority, never forget that your child is special in his or her very own way. You don’t want a cookie cutter child, so don’t provide him or her with a cookie cutter education.