Nuggets of Wisdom for a Successful Homeschool
Does it seem that everyone else is having fun with their kids while you and yours are at each other’s throats?Here are 15 nuggets of wisdom that are supported by both research as well as experience:
1. Keep a schedule for your sanity, but allow for spontaneous adjustments when students have an “ah-ha!” moment and want to explore a topic in depth.
2. Remember that less is oft en more. A few minutes a day on complex material will lead to better understanding and retention than a large block of time on one day.
3. Help your child understand HOW they learn best by pointing out what they’ve learned and how they did it.
4. We all have our bad days. Recognize yours and your children’s, and cut everyone some slack. No one teaches or learns well in a tension-filled environment. Take some time off, head outside for a nature walk, curl up with a good book, or find another way to turn bad days into good!
5. Children are not all the same. They have different interests, different abilities, and different challenges. Accept each child as they are, and enjoy the challenge of finding a way to reach them.
6. What works for one child may not work for a sibling. Never expect one to follow in the footstep s of another.
7. Verbal and language abilities are very important, but so are visual literacy skills. Do not assume your children know how to interpret visual information. Help them to see different parts of a picture or painting, study maps and graphs, and apply information they gain from visual sources.
8. All children benefit from adult involvement in their studies. Self-study imposes serious limitations on children who lack the experience and background of elders. Think of all you can add to discussions and conversations based on your experience!
9. Never assume that what interested your children yesterday will captivate them tomorrow. Your interests have not stayed the same over the years, and theirs won’t either.
10. Although your little ones may share your DNA and look just like you, they are their own person and their inter ests, abilities, and needs may be very different from yours. You are not exactly like your parents, and your children will not be exactly like you.
11. Serious learning can be fun! Even Aristotle enjoyed a good laugh with his students.
12. Be very careful about making curriculum decisions based on what you would have liked as a child. Your ideas about curriculum today are influenced by your mature adult brain, something your children do not yet possess. Think about their interests, needs, and goals for the future.
13. Recognize that you are the most important role model for your children. If you want to encourage a love of learning, what you DO is far more important than what you SAY.
14. Include time in the schedule to pursue individual passions and interests! If you doubt this, ask yourself which is easier: teaching your ch ildren something they are not interested in, or teaching them something they cannot wait to do?
15. Multisensory learning helps move information from short term to long term memory. While reading and writing are important skills, they are not the only ways children learn and communicate. Encourage multisensory discovery, artistic pursuits, and hands-on projects.