Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homeschooling: The Perks

I will admit I was not quite sure what to expect out of homeschooling this year.  However, I have learned alot of things mostly from my children.  I thought for those of you who think I am crazy and for those of you who wanna give it a try, I would share some things that I have learned throughout the year.

1.  LEARNING:  This means to acquire new knowledge for long term.  "If they can't remember it tomorrow it ain't learnt!"  
  • Learning is not always academics.
  • The kids are not the only ones learning.
  • Everyday, someone in your house will learn something new
2.  TIME:  Time is a precious thing that you do not want to waste.  For what ever time you waste, you will never get back.
  • Time with my children is precious and should not be squandered off.
  • School time does not have to be 8-3, it can be 6- noon, it can be all day, it can be in the evenings, over nap time, you decide what is best for your family, or each kid.  
  • Our best time varies by kid and parent.... Example:  Wayne is best early in the morning, Mom is not good until 9 am, Eve is good to go around 7:30, Kohl runs his own schedule that interferes with everyone else!
  •  You must take time to watch your children learn (if you blink they will be grown up), and that aha moment in your own children is far more valuable than that moment you get watching others learn.
  • If your day screams, RUN AWAY FROM SCHOOL, you can do this (Declare it a Holiday!)  run have fun and play.  you have 180 days you must account for learning out of 365.  If they learn something while you are running away, it is a school day.  If they do not, then it is a break.
3. CURRICULUM:  Is just what and how you are going to teach your child, it is not the text books you buy or anything else.  It is your plan of what and how.  
  • Buying structured curriculum works if you need structured lessons.
  • 1 size does not fit all, do not compare what your friends are buying, what worked for the previous child, yourself or your husband, find what fits your kiddo.
  • When the curriculum isn't working, add in your own ideas to help him learn.
  • It is perfectly ok to use the library as your reading, science and social studies curriculum.  Ask questions of what your kids read, show them how to research and read about the stories of history.
  • Make sure to walk away from the text pages for a little fun every now and again
  • MAKE an individualized learning plan (IEP in Public schools) for each kid, plan what you want them to learn as opposed to just getting through a book!  Test these skills often and modify your plan as needed!
4.  HOLIDAYS:  Not only do you choose your schedule, but if you do fun activities during the holiday, it counts as school (public schools do parties, movie days, etc throughout the school year, why can't you?)
  • Save family vacation for times that are not regularly scheduled for the rest of the school world (better travel, more fun!).
  • Use family vacation as school days if you can!
  • Make the holidays about the family as opposed to about the hoopla that is advertised.
  • Kids love: making gifts, decorating, and hosting friends.... let them!
  • Alot can be loved from being charitable, try even at a different time from the holidays!
I have really learned alot over this last year, I am going to enjoy the last 15 days of the school year, and see what I can do to make next year easier.  Over the next 3 weeks we will be writing educational goals, making summer learning packets, AND having a practice Summer Vacation Day!

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