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Part 3: Successful, Enjoyable, DOABLE Homeschooling: Part 1

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The Boyer Blog: Part 3: Successful, Enjoyable, DOABLE Homeschooling: Part 1

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Part 3: Successful, Enjoyable, DOABLE Homeschooling: Part 1

Wise Use of Curriculum

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.

Marilyn

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3 Comments:

Blogger Foster said...

I am just starting homeschool with my oldest. He is going to be 5 in a couple months. I am very nervous about just doing preschool stuff with him. It helps so much to read your blog and hear stories of what others have done, and what to expect. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless You.

August 27, 2010 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous gretchen said...

When you say you spend 2 1/2 to 3 hours per day on academics, to what age range are you referring?
Two of my kids have just moved up to high school level in our curriculum, and I was surprised at the big increase in time commitment that they are expected to spend on school work. I am working through the materials now, to try and pare it down, so we can still do some family things together with the younger children, and also to leave room for them to explore subjects more in depth as their interests lead them. How do you determine what is REALLY necessary?

August 30, 2010 at 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Gretchen,
Every curriculum I've seen give too much. My high schoolers sometimes had reading or writing towards the end of the year when I assigned them a research paper or book report for younger kids) to do in the afternoon, but not long periods of it. Question answering is often just an unnecessary exercise. I preferred to have the kids talk about it and ask their own questions instead of answering someone else's all the time. Math is definitely a subject you can cut down on quantity of problems assigned. You don't have to cut content, just amount. When you do, the kids are more motivated to do it as they see an end to it. Evaluate where you think each child is headed, career wise or future wise and don't make them wade through subjects they will never ever need. Instead, substitute with areas they are passionate about. If they miss out on something they later need, they can take an online course or community college and take an intensive, so make judgements the best you can, but realize if they later change course, it's very doable when they see a need for the subject.

September 19, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

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