Thursday, May 01, 2008

10 Homeschooling Tips

I found this in the save file of my email from 3 years ago, I thought it had some good advice (not that I follow all of it LOL).

1) Keep everything as simple as you can. Jesus wrote with a stick in
the dirt, and He was the greatest teacher that ever lived. He used
no curriculum or flannel graphs or lesson plans. Homeschooling can
be made far more complicated than it should be. A simpler approach
is much more effective.

2) Stick to the 3 R's. They form the foundation of life-long
learning in every field because they are the tools of study. There
will be no need to formalize any other subject if the children are
doing their best in these 3, because people who are well grounded in
reading, writing and math will approach other subjects boldly,
independently and confidently.

3) Let the children teach themselves as much as they are able to.
This teaches them responsibility, intellectual independence, and
builds confidence. It's also better for the parent/child
relationship because you can focus on parenting instead of playing
schoolteacher.

4) Use the most direct method available. For reading, read. For
writing, write, for math, do it, and for Bible, read it. Don't fall
for catchy curriculums or methods that are really just something
else for you and your child to learn.

5) Don't worry about your child's age or grade. Just let him do the
best he can each day. Children grow intellectually like they do
physically: in spurts. Although we may have an audience of skeptical
relatives, homeschooling is not a circus, and we refuse to train our
children to do tricks for people.

6) Minimize distractions in the home. Watch for excessiveness in
entertainments, snacking, outings, phone conversations, internet and
computer time, and the like. These sorts of things can easily get
out of hand and compete with the effectiveness of a homeschool and
sap the family of time and energy.

7) Seek quality over quantity. A few tapes of great music, a small
case of carefully chosen books, a few special play mates, and an
occasional outing is better than a large, but poor quality
collection.

8) If you must document your school activities, do it after the
fact. This way you will not make promises you cannot keep. If you
are required to make lesson plans, be as vague as permissible. Don't
let transcripts, diplomas, records and tests determine your academic
plans. Focus on learning and the rest will follow.

9) Put the needs of your youngest, most vulnerable children first.
If an older child gets a little behind in school, I'm sure you can
forgive yourself, and catching up and regaining ground is not
impossible, and simply is a part of life, and that in itself will be
a valuable skill taught to them! But if something happened to the
toddler while you were busy homeschooling, or if you'd missed
precious nurturing moments for those who need attention the most at
the moment, it's harder, if not impossible to regain those things!

10) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and
don't neglect to seek him early...giving him the first fruits of
your day and teach your children to do the same. I know that you are
tired and that there aren't enough hours in your day, but we serve a
God who can make the sun stand still.