I haven't always been a fan of homeschool curriculum. I struggled with purchasing box curriculum in the early years because I enjoyed designing our lessons and using a variety of resources. As my daughters have gotten older, I find myself appreciating curriculum a bit more. It helps me save time by not having to search out and create every lesson.
Even though we use more curriculum in our homeschool, I still find it valuable to enhance our learning environment with other activities, methods, and resources. This allows us to keep the variety in our homeschool that we all need.
Three Tips for Enhancing Your Homeschool Environment
Let your children lead.
My daughters love teaching me. They are able to show me just what they know by having moments to take the reigns in our homeschool. There are times when they lead with academic work such as going to the board and teaching me how to solve an equation while other times they lead by taking over the kitchen and trying out a new recipe. By allowing my daughters to take the teacher role, I am helping them to build their confidence.
Not only do they lead by doing, but also allow them to be a part of the planning process. They have a voice when it comes to making plans for the upcoming school year. I also check in with them quarterly about changes we could make in our homeschool. Homeschooling isn't about me, but about them so making room for their voices is important.
I've learned that being patient with my daughters has been one of the best gifts of homeschooling. They don't always grasp understanding in one or two lessons; by having the time to really understand, ensures they'll retain the knowledge for the long haul and not simply for a test.
Use different materials.
Adding a variety of materials is one sure way to enhance your learning environment. It can become a little mundane when you do all the lessons the same way each day. I know using the same materials can make life easier, and I also know doing the same thing day after day can lead to burn out for both student and teacher. By mixing up the way you present content, you are teaching your child to adapt to different teaching styles. I believe this is good for the long haul.