After home educating my children for over a decade, I sense a change in my approach to teaching.
I fear that I have made two mistakes with my two older children, and I want to correct that for the younger two.
Mistake #1 - I educated at the cost of learning.
Mistake #2 - When my children became frustrated or didn't understand a lesson, I simply repeated the instruction (more times than I care to admit), rather than find a new teaching strategy. I forgot that each child has a different learning style.
So, I am slowly planning the new year. I am not rushing into it, and I am allowing an evolution in teaching style to take place in me.
My oldest daughter is a senior in high school this year. She is currently flipping through the pages of the Rainbow Resource Catalogue, she will determine her year for herself. I am hoping that, this year of self discovery will correct all the teaching mistakes I've made with her. I realize this is impossible, and a fantasy, but I do get some comfort out of this notion. So, please...let a girl dream!
I want to follow my children's learning desires a lot more this year. Children have a naturally curious nature, and my hope is that if I surround them with learning opportunities they will indulge this urge.
So, our days are going to be broken into two parts. We will start with the core subjects. During this time, all three of us will work at the table together and cover math, memory work, and language lessons. Then each child will sit with me for 30 minutes while I read to them. This will be the time that I direct the learning, and I am hoping that we will have it completed in 2.5 hours.
For my ten year old who is entering the 5th Grade:
Michael Clay Thompson Language Lessons
Reading Time with Mom
For my 5 year old who is entering Kindergarten:
The Writing Road to Reading
Explode the Code
Reading time with Mom
Note - At this time I do not have a math curriculum picked out for her.
When these core subjects are complete the children can choose which of the following they would like to do. This is their time to direct their learning. I am dedicating three hours to this kind of learning.
Bible - Faithweaver Sunday School
Documentary from Netflix
Board Games - Scrabble/Chess/Carcassonne/Alphabet Bingo
Online learning websites for spelling, typing, and math. I will offer these links in a new post.
Television (outside of pre-chosen documentaries) and computer/video games are activities that are earned, and can only be enjoyed on the weekends.
I am not sure how this year will play out. I may lose my mind by October, return to a tight schedule, and right this off as a bad experiment. I'll post how it is working out in the weeks to come.