And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, March 6, 2017

How We Homeschool

Today, I thought I'd share what I would change if I could go back in homeschool time. Maybe I should have named this post "How I Wish We Had Homeschooled". HA! While we know we can't change the past, maybe sharing the things I wish I had done differently will help some of you in your homeschool  journeys.

*Behavior Rewards- I tried several different behavior reward tactics when the kids were small. It seemed like we were never had success with any of them. I would abandon one and try something different. When that didn't seem to work, I'd talk with friends and find a new system to try. Eventually I gave up. They didn't seem to motivate my kids at all. Occasionally I'd have a child ask about the treasure box or sticker rewards, but it was rare. Now that they are both older, sometimes I feel like I run out of punishments when they won't work diligently on their schoolwork or try hard to do their best. I really wish I had done a simple behavior reward sytem through the years. For consistency purposes, I should have implemented a simple sticker chart with a reward after so many stickers. Sometimes a visual reward can go much further than regular punishment. These days my kids earn their daily screentime by finishing school on time so we have a routine, but things would be a little different if I had started something earlier on.

*Handwriting- Both children have worked on handwriting every year. I do wish I had made them write more and more often. Apple's handwriting is readable but isn't always neat. I dismissed Speedy's early handwriting difficulty because everyone says boys have a harder time. I do think that's generally true, but I wish I had worked more with him early on. This year he has been doing LOTS of extra writing practice because it felt imperative to see improvement this year. I also would have pushed coloring more with him. He's never enjoyed coloring very much, but I know more of it would have improved his fine motor skills earlier on. My handwriting isn't gorgeous so I guess I didn't focus as much on neat, tidy, regular handwriting as much as I wish I had.

*Drilled Math Facts- I hesitate to put this one. I KNOW we should have done it more. We did do it some. I am not a fan of drilling facts. My kids are not a fan of drilling facts. I shudder to think of going back and doing it more often. However I do think there are benefits to knowing those addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts backwards and forwards. I think it would have saved us some time in the long run to have spent more time on those facts as we were learning them. Like handwriting, I assumed the kids would get better and better as time went on. They have but the progress has been slower than it would have been if we would have spent more time on it in the beginning. Drill. Yuck. You should do it anyway.

Now don't worry. I'm not focusing only on the negative. I just wanted to share some things I wish I had considered more early on. Soon I will do a post about the things I'm glad we did/ are doing in our homeschool time.

Do you have anything you wish you'd done differently in your homeschool?

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