Sunday, December 9, 2012

Homeschool Strategies

Recently, someone asked me this question:

I'm curious, did you find yourself making a big change in strategy from your original plan when you started homeschooling?
And the answer: OF COURSE we made big changes! I have probably changed the way we homeschool about a hundred times. As I continue to educate myself and to learn more about my children and their learning styles, their interests, and their needs, I have made changes in the "usual" way we approach learning experiences. No one expects us to know everything this very moment...we do our best from day to day.
For example, as I learned more about how necessary activity is for my son, I began finding ways to add movement to lessons. Also, I gathered a drawer full of "fiddlers", small toys and gadgets that he could play with while listening or doing lessons. These small hand movements make it possible for the "free" track of his mind to take in the lesson and to focus.
As I learned more about my daughter's interests, I was able to create individual lessons and activities that would engage her more fully. She prefers to be very much the leader in where we go and how we get there. And I had to learn those times when I needed to be more of a leader with her...
As we move forward through skill levels we often switch from one publisher to another. Also as I stumble on interesting websites, we often find ways to include new and interesting resources in our lessons.
Do we make big changes from our original plan?  Absolutely!  
And so will you. Changes are normal and fine. In fact, they show that you are learning and advancing and making efforts to respond to your children's needs and to provide the best experiences possible for your children. In fact, in  no part of your life should you stick, resolute, to things that do not work or that are simply someone else's rules. Make changes that make sense for your family.
In fact, this week I made a major change for my son. I realized that he does better with much more structure than I have been providing for him, especially in math and language. So I have taken a few steps back and changed our approach. Fingers crossed, we'll see how he does with that.

If you like this post you might try this one: 
Homeschool Co-Op Ideas
Habits for a Happy Homeschool 
Note to my Former Self

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