Homeschooling: Are you Doing it Wrong? 6 Things to Consider

Homeschooling should not be agony. It should not be tears, exhaustion, fighting or yelling. If it is, may I suggest...


You Are Doing It Wrong

Now, I don't mean to say that there is only one correct way to homeschool. Exactly the opposite. There are so many ways to do this that there is a perfect fit your family, and perhaps you have not found it yet. If you dove in and bought curriculum and school supplies and cleared the dining room table and then after 2 hours or two weeks your kids are in full rebellion - you have not found the correct fit. 

Nothing, nothing at all is more important than finding the right fit for your kids.

Here are 6 important things to consider in determining if the method is the wrong fit for your family: 

6. Are you mom, really ready to do this job? 

You are capable and equipped. You are qualified. But, do you know how this is going to look, and feel? Allow that you will have much to learn. I promise it will be a good experience for you too along the way. I have changed, grown and learned more on this journey than I ever imagined, and I still do 16 years in. Homeschooling is not going to happen without your involvement. You will be daily engaged, all day, for a good while until they are older and more experienced homeschoolers. 

Homeschooling is you giving them all you have, all day. If this seems too overwhelming, keep reading!


5. Are you schooling at home?

Schooling at home is trying to recreate a classroom in your house. A schedule of work done with children at the desk or table. All subjects done daily according to a planner. If you are, you might consider this- unless you have quiet children, mostly girls who love to sit and draw, color and do workbook work... You are going to have a battle on your hands and children who are largely uninspired. Learning is not built in my humble opinion for sitting at desks and tables all day, or most the day. Actually it should be very little. If you are trying to create the classroom of the 1950's stop. You are educating children for a technology driven world. Hang it up. Children who memorize easily can do very well in this method and if you have those, and it works run with it. But you will find they are capable of infinitely more when you break that mold. What we think of as a school day was meticulously designed for training factory workers. There are no jobs for this now. Don't use this method. 

4. Have you adjusted your ideas about your home to be compatible with homeschooling? 

Your world is not going to look ANYTHING like your friends who send their kids to school. Not ever. It's not going to resemble your life before homeschooling. A lot of moms try to fold homeschooling into the life. Homeschool is a way of life. Fight it or accept it. Spend less time researching curriculum and more time learning about this philosophy. Everything about how your home runs shifts because you are homeschooling. Not one taking over the other, but a meshing to where you cannot tell where home and school meet and end.

3. Have you taken the time to assess your teaching style? 

This requires a great deal of objectivity and some time, even a year or two. Often I find moms think they are one way and they aren't at all. If your teaching style is to tell your kids what pages to do, and then go off to do housework. That is not a teaching style at all :( sorry! Teaching at home, requires your energy, your enthusiasm, and your creativity.

2. Have you selected one curriculum for all your children? 

How is this different than public school? One size does not fit all. Sure, if it does, yay for you. But I hate to break it to you mom, it's probably not going to work. Fighting this battle, is you trying to fit your square peg in a round hole. Now ask yourself why your days are so stressed and if it's really the kids "fault" or if it is a natural outgrowth of a poor curriculum choice?

1. Have you taken the time to assess your child's learning style? 

If not, well that's precisely what happens in public school. No one cares how their brains are wired. Every child is wired to learn. Your job is to figure out their brain and help them learn how to learn their very best with it. Don't guess. Are they Auditory, Kinetic, Sensory? Do your due diligence in this area. Learning about neuroscience may not be as much fun as shopping online and chatting with your friends about what books to buy, but it is the single most important thing you can do for your child. I am convinced. Know your child.

When you find the right fit for you and your children, and you create an atmosphere of learning in your home you will build children who are built for learning. It becomes easier and easier as you go. You will find more time for your housework, and yourself because you are creating an environment where they have discovered how to think. You will find this time because you built independent learners. It takes time though, be patient.

If learning happens when you are sitting at the table with a book open and mom is either lording over you or off somewhere folding laundry, they become dependent on the method, the book, the look, the feel, and on you. If they learn to dive in, to read in comfy chairs, to go find answers on the computer to build, paint, create and do work as long as they want on things they are passionate about - then you will serve as the inspiration, the director. This is the sweet spot my sisters. It's like walking in high cotton.

One method to explore is the Charlotte Mason Approach. You don't have to marry yourself to any one method. Explore it and find your way. 

Consider, if this isn't a joyful, abundant, experience, you might be doing it wrong.

I love this quiz from Cathy Duffy for new homeschoolers or for homeschoolers who are tired of fighting and are ready to embrace some new ideas about how to do this effectively.


http://cathyduffyreviews.com/parent-helps/discover-your-childs-learning-style.htm

#homeschool #homeschooling #CharlotteMason #CathyDuffy #learning #education

3 comments:

  1. Hi Robin! :) You know me from way back in my earliest years of home schooling my three boys at Scott AFB. It has taken many trials, loads of errors and good deal of frustrating tears to come to our families happy medium. I have always struggled with highly distracted kids. I think I tried every approach out there to find what would work best for my kids. Funny enough, it wasn't until much later in our home school journey that I figured out that it was just as important to find out MY teaching style as well. For the past 3 of the 6 years we have been home schooling we use a combo that just works wonders in our home! I do purchase a solid curriculum for each of my boys, and the key for us, has been to STICK WITH IT. Now my oldest son, who is now in high school does use a different curriculum than his younger brother's, but it is the same kind of learning. My boys never did cotton to computer based learning, which I found interesting as they spend quite a bit of time on the computer. My kids must have physical workbooks. They like seeing what they have accomplished in a day, and NEED the direction of me telling them exactly what needs to get done. They can see it, and this relives their worry of not being able to "see" what needs to get done. Now on to me, the teacher. I personally dislike workbook learning, I LOVE to make what they are learning "pop"! So what I do for our happy medium is to get my kids out of those workbooks at least once a month for about 3 or 4 days. (This allows for a break and for everyone's brains to unwind without having to rewind!) :) We go on sight seeing tours about things they are learning about. We make delicious meals that pertain to the time in history they are studying. (Yes Virginia, there is an actual country called Greece and boy is that nation's food yummy!) This is how I like to home school. I feel my boys get the best of both worlds this way. They have the physical workbooks that ARE teaching them about the things they need to learn about. However, before things get too dry and boring we take a break from the books and unplug with some great real world applications to what they are learning. I love this crazy, hectic, yet fascinating life we call home schooling!

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  2. Excellent thoughts and suggestions!

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I appreciate your feedback. Keep it classy!