Myth – My child won’t learn as well as he/she would in a traditional school.
Reality – As a homeschooling parent, I have found that my children learn MORE when I engage them in things that they are interested in. When children are in a public school setting, its about the entire class, not the individual student. Pediatricians will tell you that your child learns through play, and that is true, but children are sponges, they learn through doing! Math was never my favorite subject, I always preferred writing and history. My youngest enjoys math, so much that most days he does not want to do anything else. However we have found ways to engage and persevere through other subjects that are not “as fun.”
- Grocery Stores – you can use this for fractions and multiplication learning. I have found it is easier with fractions. Addition and subtraction can also be taught this way.
- Library – who doesn’t love a library?? We have a library day once a week, where we go and read, participate in games and learning activities that they have. Besides promoting a love of books, reading helps develop cognitive skills as well as an extensive vocabulary. Be daring! Find something outside of your comfort zone to try out! You might just be surprised.
- Sports – get involved in a sporting activity. This not only helps with muscular development, but is also social. Kids need to be involved!
- FIELD TRIPS – this one is my favorite! Visit an old battlefield, art museum, historical sites, Presidential libraries and childhood homes, etc. The possibilities here are endless! We have field trips planned for police and fire stations.
- PCS – you might be wondering how this could be educational, but hear me out. We recently PCS’d from Fort Lewis to Maryland, and as we drove through the many states in between, we went over a lot of geography. We talked about mountains and rivers, capitals and state birds. There are so many games that you can devise and play while you are moving!
Education does not always have to be boring. There are a ton of documentaries and kits available to help in areas that are not favorites. You can use board games to teach math (think money and counting), movies can be used to incorporate music and dance. We will grab an old musical and watch, then ask “Did the music pull the movie together? What kind of instruments were used? Was there a scene where you felt it was out of place?” There are so many ways to include education in play. Lincoln logs, legos and more. Build a city out of those boxes from your last move and let your kids take turns being the town sheriff. Have them think of ways that laws could be used to benefit their town (see, you just incorporated government into their play).
Home schooling is more than just sitting down with a curriculum and working through benchmarks. I have pointed out in other blogs where we can see where one child might struggle. I don’t have to worry about 15 other kids who get it, I am focusing on the one child that needs extra help. Grab a bag of chocolates or pretzels and use them as counters. Use more hands on methods, and work at their pace. So you take longer to complete something.. its okay!! You have to have a basis (curriculum) for what you are teaching, but adding in the ideas mentioned above, you are gaining, not losing!
I am going to add my addendum here, I don’t think public schools are bad. They are needed, and they work well for many students. We chose homeschooling due to moving, and being able to jump some hurdles that we felt our children needed more help with. I am not putting them down or knocking them in any way. I just felt that we could benefit more from a one on one situation.
What are you favorite teaching methods in home schooling??