Here’s the next letter my series ~ “Letter To Me” where I share the letters I wrote to myself, encouraging myself (and, hopefully, other new homeschoolers) with what I wish I had known when I started out on our homeschooling journey ~
Firstly, you must remember that the curriculum you purchased for each of your children, complete with bell & whistles, is created by developers who estimate the average age and range and scope of the work. They determine a schedule that will cover the work within a certain time frame. It will not be perfect for all your children, all the time.
Use the schedule as a guideline, not a taskmaster. Remember this when your “tick-the-box” mentality starts to trip you into rushing, stressing and worrying. It is perfectly fine to take longer on sections. It is okay to skip some work/ projects/ narrations/ hands-on activities. It is altogether right to put away a book that your child just does not like or enjoy. Wait until a few months and try again.
Wait for your children to show readiness and follow their natural drive to repeat and immerse themselves in something they love and enjoy and want to master. If you push too soon, they will not have that built-in passion and ability to carry out the skill and activity.
Especially when your child struggles — wait. Gently encourage them, but if they cannot manage a subject or skill — wait. Step back a step or two and try again.
So, if a Maths book causes tears, try another book, or switch over to some mental maths pages, or find a game that they can use instead of pen and paper. Delay the written maths exercises and focus on the basic maths skills. Do fun, active drills instead. Take time off from the book and find the point of mastery and work up from there.
Remember, you are supposed to tailor-make your child’s learning experience and you know your child way better than any expert who typed out the schedule! You can delay the handwriting lessons, wait with written narrations. Even if you have nothing to show for your school day, and do not seem to make much progress in the schedule, your children are learning.
And this applies to your high schooler as well. It does not matter that she did not write any tests or exams, and did not complete an “impossible” course one year, your child will master another course the next year. She will definitely manage to write formal exams in an external exam centre at the end of the year.
Lastly, remember when you were a professional teacher, you encouraged parents to hold a struggling child back a year? It always worked for the best in the early years. So, moms, don’t push your young children! Don’t fret, stress and strain to measure up to the standards laid out. Follow your child and facilitate their learning needs. It is right that your one-on-one schooling does not look like the ‘average’. Yours is a perfect fit!
With hindsight blessings,
I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic! Please, would you share yours in the comments?
In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:
- 1 Learning Not School
- 2 Ideals and Compromise
- 3 Unique Individuals
- 4 Toddlers
- 5 Let Be
- 6 Husband
- 7 Action
- 8 Friends