The Friday meme over at Heart of the Matter is along the theme of – What I wish I’d known. I always make a point of not reading others posts on the meme before I write my own. I hope for originality- it’s more like surprise. Like the grey hair I pulled out of my head yesterday. Or the lottery ticket I won. Okay, I made that one up – so don’t be calling pretending your my new best friend. So, without further ado, here’s my post.
Thing’s I wish I’d known:
1. Trust your instincts: they’re right 95% of the time. Really. Honest.
2. Take cues from your kids! Tears are bad – if there are tears then back off, go for a walk, try again later, but use a different approach.
3. If your kids aren’t getting it, this is a sign to change your approach. It’s up to the teacher/parent to find the right approach that helps the child make the connection. If you fail to do this, there may be tears. See #2.
4. Look for ways to incorporate natural learning situations whenever possible. This is the stuff that makes kids excited about learning. Nature walks, field trips, learning games, workshops, experiments. It generally isn’t the latest workbook – generally.
5. Make an effort to discover your child’s learning style. Most of us are made up of a little bit of each – but almost always, there is an inborn preference to favor one particular learning style.
6. Purchase curriculum that is geared towards your child’s learning style. This makes learning (and teaching) well, easier. See #5.
7. Don’t be a lone tree. Get plugged in to your homeschool community. Meet people and encourage one another. Whether you attend a virtual or community based homeschool support group – make use of it.
8. Don’t get stuck on any one homeschool method – different methods work for different kids and different families. Most of us are somewhat eclectic in our homeschool approach. Be prepared for change. Homeschooling is like an old sweater. It may be your favorite and you may not throw it out, but then one day you decide your ready for something new and fresh.
9. Read, read read read. Read out loud, read for your own pleasure and encourage your kids to read as much as possible. Keep television, video games and comic books to a minimum – or do without. Reading forms the basis of writing, spelling, grammar. It can be used to teach beginning essay and report writing skills through narration. Penmanship and grammar skills can be improved upon through dictation.
10. Read good books to your children. Start building a library of good literature. Once your child is reading, move away from simple readers. Advance them slowly, progressing to well written literature. Well written books cause us to think deeply, question our moral values, and stir emotions inside of us. These are the books that get read over and over and over again – you’ll know when you see it.