Homeschooling is easy…….
……. We are just making it too complicated!
Homeschooling is easy? What?
There are hundreds of websites, companies, and catalogs full of books, curriculums, charts, time management resources, etc. and we frantically search them each year looking for the best schedules/books/routines for our children. We spend many hours in the morning sitting with our kids, meeting each deadline and time frame, running around, and find ourselves quickly worn out.
But does it have to be this hard? What if after your children learn to read you could spend a max of 15 minutes a day with your children in their schooling?
It is important to stop and consider: Are we teaching our kids to think or are we
doing all the thinking for our kids? As our children age and take on a life of their own, they will need to be able to think for themselves, solve problems on their own, and thrive in a real world.
So here is what I propose, and what my family has done…… a little hard work teaching them to read when they are little and then guiding them into doing their schooling independently:
FIRST, TEACH THEM TO READ IN 4 STEPS
- Teach your little children the alphabet song. First, teach them this one, if they do not already know it.
- Next, teach them…..THIS phonics song. Play it enough and they will memorize it a lot faster than you think.
- At the same time that you are working on number 2, purchase these preschool activity sheets and work through them (phonics, shapes, etc.). They are highly recommended by me and my kids LOVED them! In addition to the phonics fun, they also have sheets for colors, directions, sizes, etc. that are so fun for children to do.
- Finally, the last step. Purchase this book and go through the short lessons to teach them to read. This all you will need and by the middle of it, your child will be reading well.
SECOND, A ‘TEACH THEMSELVES’ CURRICULUM
Once they are reading on their own, begin a curriculum such as the Robinson Curriculum or the Ron Paul Curriculum, both designed for self-learning/teaching. I would encourage the Robinson Curriculum as that is what we have experience with and its a one time purchase good for all kids, through all grades.
Reading: For reading, the books are included with the program and include the great books of our history (literature, economics, history, science, readers, etc.). Here is a superb list of Elementary Literature for the earlier grades. You can get many of these at the local library for free or used on Amazon.
Math begins with the memorization of flash cards then Saxon Math in which the child teaches himself through each lesson.
Writing/spelling/grammar is learned organically by writing a half page essay about any topic daily. A dictionary is used to look up words and the parents proofread them and have the child correct.
Our schedule is set up in this order daily: Math, Writing, Vocabulary, Reading (which includes literature, history, science, etc,)
The expectations are set. They work through each and bring to either me or my wife for proofing, and then we correct as necessary.
Most importantly, they are encouraged to follow directions and learn the concepts on their own and to spend time working through the materials themselves. The unnecessary “busy work” is left out, the curriculum advances fast, and the great books throughout history are read.
Encourage your children, congratulate them on their hard work, and prepare them for whatever challenge throws at them while getting on with your day as well.
And remember, don’t over-complicate things.
Your thoughts and questions are appreciated…….