When we attended Teach Them Diligently this past weekend, I made it a point to attend workshops that spoke to who I am naturally. I wanted to hear more about the 10 hour homeschool week and the reasons to use pen and paper over a computer. These workshops spoke to who I am. My active teaching time is about three hours each day, and we are not a digital homeschool. You might wonder, "Why attend a workshop about something you already know?" There were two reasons: I was curious to see if the speaker did something out of this world to achieve a two hour homeschool day, and I needed to be reminded that there's nothing wrong with being a somewhat traditional educator.
After I attended both workshops, I didn't leave loaded with new information, but instead I left encouraged to continue to do what I know.
What I Know For Sure About Our Homeschool
- It is best for us to have an allotted period of time for our lessons. By having a schedule, it gives us more margin to do things that we enjoy. My daughters work hard during their academic block, and they also really appreciate their free time before and after. By having a schedule, we all have clear boundaries about what is happening and what will happen.
- My daughters aren't digital learners. They like pencil and paper. They like seeing a tangible product from their work. I like this too. When they write it down, it makes it easier for me to correct their work without it feeling like I am trying to correct who they are which can happen when all you have is dialogue.
- Consistency is important. Now, I don't believe in being rigid, but I do see the value of consistency. It's true that children need this. It's true that many adults need this too. I used to fight against consistency because I was afraid of rigidness, but I have come to learn that by battling consistency I didn't make our homeschool better.
- Variety is important. Although my daughters appreciate consistency and textbooks, they do not want learning to become boring. We have the opportunity to try out many products which is nice, but doing too much at once can effect our learning environment in a negative way. I add variety by not changing up our full curriculum or core subjects, but by supplementing our subjects with engaging activities. I also switch up our electives each quarter.
- Less is more. Each year, I evaluate the topics we study. I ask myself, "Why are we studying this?" By being honest and knowing the purpose of our topics of study, it helps our homeschool stay on track. Our day isn't super long, my daughters aren't learning the classics, or building amazing 3D models. I am okay with this because I know at the end of their homeschool journey, they'll have more than they need to crossover into the next part of their lives. They'll be emotionally, spiritually, and academically well-rounded and what I don't teach them, I am confident that they'll be able to learn for themselves.
Homeschool Tip of the Day-
Stick to what you know. You know your children, family dynamics, and home best. Don't doubt your choices because they aren't the same as others. When you say no to doing the things that work best for your family, you run the risk of burning out and becoming frustrated. When you do what works for your family, you run the risk of making homeschooling look much easier than it is. I prefer to make it look easy even though I know it is a lot of work.
What do you know for sure about your homeschool?