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Thursday, August 21, 2008


Streamline your child’s curriculum, learning to master the books—not letting them master you. This may be news to you, but just because something is in the textbook does not mean your child has to do it—you should evaluate what is best for each of your children’s needs. I try not to require too much from my younger children, letting them answer a lot of questions orally. I do have them do a little bit of neat handwriting every day, but too much writing leads to sloppiness because they just want to get it over with, instead of striving for accuracy. Feel the freedom to pick and choose which things in the curriculum you are using are beneficial to your child and which are not. We generally spend about 2 1/2 to 3 hr. per day on academics.

Learn to develop the practice of enjoying learning. Begin to enrich your home with fun, captivating learning materials. A lot of learning just happens as a byproduct of life. One of the neatest things to me is to see an interest pop up in one of my kids and go to the library or gather materials to help them pursue that interest. The other kids in the family learn from that child’s interest—so much learning just happens if you build a home full of learning tools and books. For instance, Matt was really interested in geography as a young child. We got him a big floor puzzle of the United States, and he knew his states and capitals when he was about eight years old just from putting that puzzle together. He would have me time him, trying to do it faster each time. We also found bedsheets for him with all the continents on them which he then used to teach his sisters the countries! Before we went to bed at night he’d say, “Mom, quiz me!” So I would ask him to find countries on the map before I would tuck him in. He has retained much of his geography knowledge to this day! There are so many resources available—anatomy puzzles, maps, clocks, learning games—fill your home with them! That’s the fun stuff kids remember and creates good memories for you and your children and your adventure of home schooling.


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