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Part 4 Successful, Enjoyable, DOABLE Homeschooling

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The Boyer Blog: Part 4 Successful, Enjoyable, DOABLE Homeschooling

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Part 4 Successful, Enjoyable, DOABLE Homeschooling


Adjusting to a New School Year....be Flexible!

We started school today. We always wait until our yearly beach trip is over. Yesterday I just showed all the kids their books for the year, even letting some of the kids choose between a couple different books in a couple of cases. I never expect much of the first day of school. Occasionally you have a new "student", a preschooler, or one who can't wait to do school, but the others, it's a bit of a transition to go from summer to school days again. I also found that a book I thought I would use for Kasey was just not going to be what she needed which led me write this short blog posting to hopefully encourage you if you find yourself a bit frustrated.

If you find you've chosen a book that just doesn't work, chuck it, sell it or give it to someone else, or even save it as it may be just what your next child will need! Every child is different. Expect that. Some things the oldest child learns right away, others may struggle with. You're not a failure. That is normal. Each child is uniquely made by God and will learn some things easily and others only with a struggle. I've found that a book that worked well for 11 of my children just didn't work for my 12th at ALL!!

Also, don't stress over grade levels. I let each child progress at THEIR own rate in EVERY subject. Don't worry about them getting behind. Don't tell them they're behind. If you work diligently, then they are just where God wants them to be. I've found, for instance, if they didn't get a handle on multiplication facts last year, don't proceed to division this year. Maybe another math text for 4th grade would say it in a different way so they will get it this year if you repeat the grade. Consider using book covers if you want to "repeat" a grade so the child doesn't know what grade it's supposed to be. It's better to see a child gain confidence than pressing them beyond measure and see them frustrated and feeling inadequate or stupid. This year, with one of my children, I am doing that very thing in math- repeating the second half of last year with another text and they are starting the year out feeling like ,"I can do this" instead of feeling totally discouraged, overwhelmed and "behind."

On the other hand, you may find a child is way beyond "where they are supposed to be". If that is the case, throw out concerns about grade levels, put them a grade or two beyond their age and encourage them to go for it. Don't worry that they are getting ahead of themselves. Children also go through learning stages. A subject that may have gone far ahead in, you may find them slowing down in later. That's okay. The general rule is to provide them with a challenge, but not to overwhelm them.

Remember too, that almost every curriculum provides way too many problems. Plan to cut back amounts without compromising any content. You will find that your child is encouraged to finish up when they can see an end to it instead of dragging their feet because they feel they'll never finish up. Eliminate busywork. As the year goes on, you will see more clearly what is just busy work and what is really profitable for each child.

Hope that helps you to get off to a better start. Have a great year!

~Marilyn

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2 Comments:

Blogger Pioneer Beauty said...

~Marilyn,

Thank you for sharing your insight to homeschooling with us..most of the things you have talked about in these postings we already do or have done..but it is just so reasuring to know that I am on the right track..It's easy to fall prey to the questioning of oneself....
Thank you again
In Christ
Angelina

September 9, 2010 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Thanks so much for putting the rest of us at ease! God is really in control, and what a blessing He's given us in tutoring and raising up our children in the Lord. He knows what they need!

September 11, 2010 at 1:25 AM  

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