Friday, April 30, 2010

What I Learned About Homeschooling This Year

As I start to clean up the 2009/2010 school year and prepare for the 2010/2011 year, I've been reflecting on the progress made and what I as a homeschooling parent have learned. We've been homeschooling now for 5 years now. If you include my misguided preschool and PreK years then that makes it 7 years. Wouldn't I know it all by now?

No. I learn a lot this year. I think that this year has been really pivotal for both me and my children.

What did I learn?

1. Doing it all on your own is hard and time consuming. Sometimes a boxed curriculum does work and there is something out there for everyone. The best decision I made was to finally go with Oak Meadow.

2. Singapore is an excellent math curriculum but it lacks drill and practice. Singapore is good at planting seeds but you need to come about a year behind with review work to watch the harvest. Adding Rod and Staff as review work has done wonders for progress in math.

3. If you wait until they are ready to learn it is easy. If you try it too early then it is hard.

4. Manipulatives for a hands-on learner make things so much easier for them to understand.

5. Notebooking and lapbooking enrich learning and their value goes on and on as the children revisit topics by looking at what they have created in the past.

6. Workboxes are great for organizing even if you do not use them the "official" way but use them to put your subjects in so that you can find everything you need for a lesson at your fingertips.

7. Planning a year or even a semester in advance just lets you down because so much changes. Planning a 12-week period at a time is just about right. You will be off track by the end of the quarter but it won't be a disaster.

8. Planning subjects like math and spelling one week at a time really takes the stress off to keep on track.

9. To remember that learning goes on all the time and to make the most of those moments. But not be teachy preachy, just enjoy and talk together.

It has been a good year of growth and progress for us all. I hope that next year continues this trend and that my girls continue toward a love of learning. And that I will be a good guide on the path.

1 comment:

Moonbeam said...

Thanks for sharing what you've learned. I started making a list of things like this for our school just a few weeks ago.

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