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Monday, October 4, 2010

Home Education Highlights ~ Week 5

DSCN6093 Plot study observing living and non-living things

I love this time of the school year when routines have been established and things start to hum along nicely.  Our little home school is going well on most days.  Though I will admit there are days when things fall apart.  I am pleased with most of our curriculum choices but have realized that some things are just not working well for some of my kids.

I believe this to be one of the beautiful things about homeschooling:  We can tailor the curriculum to the child.  I remember sitting in job interviews for teaching positions and telling administrators that I believed in making my lessons & curriculum unique for each child in my class.  I tried to live by that too.  I truly believe that education needs to meet the child on his or her level and not the child meet the education.  (Does that make sense because I’m a bit tired tonight?)  I wanted that for the students in my class but that is hard to do when you have 20 + students.  In my little classroom of five children, it is easy for me to do.

DSCN6095 More plot study

In week five, I realized that one student just was not ready for a particular subject on grade level.  At first, I was a bit discouraged and wanted to push on.  However, the child was completely frustrated.  We know that children can not learn when they are working at a level of frustration.  I put the textbook away and opted for something that was more suited to the child’s ability.  Now, this student is working along, learning the same exact things. (The subject was grammar, by the way.  And grammar is grammar is grammar, if you know what I mean.)  The book I’m using might not have the “appropriate grade level” on it but the child is learning the same material.  The child is much happier which makes for a much happier mom.  :)

DSCN6211 A science experiment on chemical reactions

 

It seems the longer that I homeschool, I learn more.

I learn that it is okay to change when something isn’t working.  And it is okay to keep it the same when it is working.

DSCN6212 Making edible cells

I learn that my homeschool will not look like any other homeschool and it won’t even look like a school.  It will look just how it needs to look for our family.  What works for me might not work for anyone else and vice versa.

DSCN6213 A plant cell with chloroplasts and a nucleus

I learn that what is in the books is not necessarily what my children need to learn.  Yes, academics are important.  But I truly want my children to complete our homeschool years knowing who God is, having a relationship with Jesus, and equipped to be “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth”. 

DSCN6215 An animal cell with just a nucleus

I learn that some of the greatest moments, such as my oldest child being tender towards a hurting sibling or my older daughter reading to her little sister, are totally worth the hours of planning and preparing.  And yes, those moments are even worth the attitudes on days when someone “doesn’t want to do school”. 

DSCN6221 Enjoying a little bit of an animal cell  ;)

I am glad that we are a homeschooling family.  Yes, it is not always easy but most things worth doing are not easy.  Yes, there are days when I feel like I need to run down the block screaming. 

But I wouldn’t trade these days of togetherness for anything…

Not one thing at all!

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