As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Jesus used little children to be an example to us adults. So why is it that we parents always think we know best about everything? I’m not saying that we should let the children boss us around; but I am saying that we should take the time to really observe our children because we have so much to learn from them!
I’ve learned quite a few homeschooling lessons from my son, Ian. He came along 6 years after his sister Gracie, who has always been very scholarly. She was so easy to teach, never complaining about school books and worksheets, etc. (She does her fair share of complaining now that she’s hit the high school years – but since she’s gained more ownership over her schooling, she can’t always complain to me!) Ashley, my oldest daughter, was easy to teach as well.
But, when it came time to start Ian on his homeschooling journey, he wanted nothing to do with it. He’s got no time for workbooks. However, he came to us with a book one day several years ago and read it to us, cover to cover. And it wasn’t “See Spot run” – it was a REAL book. We asked him how he learned to read and he didn’t have an answer for us, but he’s been a voracious reader ever since.
He hates sitting down to a book of math problems. But, he’d love to sit for hours and talk to me about math concepts and do verbal math problems. One day, while dining out when he has about 5, he told us how much each one of us would get if we sent the winning video to America’s Funniest Home Videos! (Division is not a simple math concept for a kindergarten student.)
This year, he hasn’t complained too much about his spelling work. He hates to print though, and is anxiously looking forward to starting to learn cursive.
I’ve had to adapt MYSELF these past few years. I’ve had to really learn to RELAX where his education is concerned.
And, while I know that he’s learning, I have to admit that it has concerned me a bit that we don’t have a lot to show for it.
This past weekend, my daughter Ashley and I were at the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Nashville. We spent 99.5% of our time working in the Apologia booth, but we did manage to walk around the convention hall a few mornings before it actually opened for the day. I was on the lookout for a math curriculum that he might actually like doing for next year. I don’t know what prompted me to stop by the A.C.E. booth (confession: that’s a lie – it’s my love of their pens!), but we stopped to glance at their 3rd grade math Paces and something hit me . . .
I remember, many years ago, people really criticized Christian schools who were using the Pace approach. There wasn’t a huge need for a teacher, and the kids were all working at their own pace. When I stop to think about this, I realize this was essentially “homeschooling in a school setting”. And I’m not sure why it was looked down upon, because it’s a concept that should be embraced in schools everywhere! It seems rather progressive to me.
I mean, isn’t that what homeschooling is all about? Encouraging kids to work at their own pace? Maybe your child needs more work in spelling, but is excelling in math. Do you rush them and/or hold them back? Or do you buy the appropriate materials so that you can teach them WHERE THEY ARE?
I had Ian take some diagnostic tests and I’m feeling quite a bit better. Despite very little workbook time this year (for 2nd grade), he has tested ready for 3rd grade in both math and language. For reading and spelling, he tested ready for 5th grade.
I don’t share any of this to brag about my child, but to encourage others to learn to relax a little bit and not push. Work to your child’s needs and strengths, and let them lead you sometimes. it really is ok.
I’m not going to worry about him anymore, and I’m sure not going to care what other people might think of my teaching approach where Ian is concerned. He’s learning more than any workbook can ever teach him. And I’m learning more about him and from him than I ever thought possible!
Homeschooling Mom, what lessons have you learned from YOUR child(ren)?