After a spring of tears and ‘I hate school’s – I needed to change something. As I visited with a friend- okay I was whining to a friend- about what a tough year we were having and why can’t I have kids like yours that like to learn, She replied simply “Well, that is a goal of my homeschool- To encourage them to want to learn” *blink, blink*… *blink, blink* well, that is incredibly simple! Why didn’t I think of that?! My entire strategy changed at that point.
Let’s back up.
I do not test. Isn’t the point of testing so that a teacher of x students can guage whether or not the bulk of them are understanding what he/she is teaching? So if I can have an intelligent conversation with my kiddo about what they’ve learned- and they are grasping what they are learning- we are good, right?
I do not grade assignments. There is no NOT doing them. There is help available. We slow down or move through as needed and the point is to be collecting that data into the brain, right? so if we work on it, talk about it, write about it….
grades then you ask? well- it has a lot to do with attitude, effort, what they are accomplishing…. in the end ALL grades are subjective. Mine are not any different.
I have a short attention span. My kids might have it, but I certainly do, so if they come to me with the same textbook, the same workbook and repeat of the last 5 month’s activities- I’m ready to quit. So, we schedule changes in our schedule. Check off lists to click off and move on to something new.
We like to chase rabbits. From ‘Mom, who is Gumby’ to ‘How is glass made?’
I’ve used a lot of different curriculum. I’ve used a lot I like! I’ve used a lot that made our days far more difficult than they needed to be… and even fostered a dread in my younger kids for what happens when we have to study that- it looks hard.
I learned something in all of that. LIVING BOOKS!
It seems to me that someone that wrote a book about a subject they have a passion about it is going to be far more interesting and possibly more in depth than a textbook’s who’s Author’s purpose is to give you a well rounded idea of a subject or a course in ‘what you need to know’. Just different goals. We use living books as often as we can.
We work through a book, then check it off and read another. It helps keep the daily monotonous struggle from overpowering us.
I like to buy books! I buy them cheap. I buy a lot of them.
They are easy to find at the library!!
If I paid $100 for a textbook and they hate it, drag their feed, can’t understand it I feel like shaking them and saying “don’t you know how much I paid for that book?!?” with living books I can replace something that doesn’t work without changing the whole plan.
and I try to mix up reading levels. Don’t you like to go with an easy read sometimes?