Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Relaxed Homeschooling - Tailor Made

If you have more than one child then I am sure you know children have different learning styles.  No two children are alike!  We've been blessed with a half dozen and they are all different.  Children have different abilities, personalities, strengths and weaknesses.  If you desire to make your home school more relaxing, try to tailor each child's learning to him.  There is no cookie-cutter way to teach every child.  The classroom model is not the only way to teach.

If your child excels in math, give him work that will challenge him and move him on at the appropriate pace so that boredom won't set in.  If your child struggles with reading, slow down and move forward as progress is made.  You control the learning environment so make it fit each of your learners just right.  Don't worry about the "age" a child should be able to do something.  Definitely don't do things just because everyone else does.  Just because things have always been done a certain way does not mean that is how God wants you to do them.  Listen to His voice and follow Him, not others.

When a child has a great interest in something, say for example, BUGS, you can do a unit study on insects and learn all about them.  You can pack a ton of science into this study as well as give reading assignments from library books on insects and develop a spelling list of insect/science words, and even plan a field trip to look at an insect display at a zoo, or museum, or college.  Use what your child is already very interested in and teach from there.   

Over the years our children have learned a great deal while eating. 

They usually eat breakfast with these place mats.  They've learned the state capitals and where each state is located, counting money, names of Presidents, books of the Bible, names of planets and more, all from using the same place mats each morning for breakfast time.

Whenever I can find things for snack time I can use for learning activities I snatch them up.  I love these Scrabble crackers.  We give each child (the younger ones) a pile of crackers and see who can spell the most words.  They can only eat the words so they try very hard.

At night when we are giving the younger children their baths, my husband and I will practice with them their multiplication facts, or spelling words, or any other thing they might be learning.  We spend time going over these things when they would normally be soaking in the tub anyway.  While I'm washing their hair I will ask questions about that day's lessons, going over what was taught during "school time". 

I've given children the assignment of making the family grocery list and made their spelling words from that.  When a child is learning to count money I will give them money and have them pay for everything we buy each time we shop.  I teach fractions in the kitchen, while making food for my young math students.  Almost all of our science is done hands on until the children are in high school.  We read aloud as a family daily and cover most of their History that way.  When we travel we listen to books on tape.  We also use holidays as teaching times.  Martin Luther King Jr. day we read and study about Civil Rights, on St. Patrick's day we will read a book on him.  On President's Day we read about a President or two.  When possible I arrange for field trips to go along with what we are reading.

Don't allow yourself to get twisted in a knot about workbooks and tests and report cards.  If you are working with your child, your child is learning!  The more you tailor a child's education to him and his learning style and abilities the more relaxing your school will become.

1 comment:

  1. My children also learned so much using placemats. We also have a world map and a map of the US hanging on our dining room wall that has helped them love geography. It's amazing how children can learn without having to sit at a desk for six hours isn't it?



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