There is a reason my husband and I developed character curriculum, and that is because it is counterproductive to educate a fool, even dangerous. We found in raising our kids that making foolish decisions is something that doesn’t need to be taught. It comes naturally.
Making wise decisions, on the other hand, is a skill- the skill of applying wisdom to life’s situations. For this reason, when we saw character needs in our kid’s lives, we searched Scripture for an answer to it, hence our character curriculum from preschool through high school. Using Scripture to address those many character issues through the years resulted in practical studies in applying character to life. In other words, the curriculum we developed was in response to the character problems we saw in our kid’s lives and our own lives.
I had 14 children and I’ve been homeschooling for more than 35 years- I’ve gone through some curriculum!Here are some things I’ve learned along the way about choosing curriculum.
#1- There isn’t one perfect curriculum that works for every child.
So you chose curriculum last year for your oldest and this year the next one is coming up, so they can just use what the oldest child used. Simple. Easy. Maybe…..
Each child is so unique. I found that sometimes a curriculum I used for many of kids with success brought extreme discouragement to a younger child. Kids think differently. Some are very logical. To them, the math’s and sciences make perfect sense, but oh, the English language…. Or, words come easy to one child. They can sit down and create an interesting story or letter, where another child can sit and look at the paper and stress over having to come up with just the right words to communicate what they want to say .
It’s okay that kids learn and think differently. It’s a temptation to get exasperated when your child learns differently from you. You think something makes perfect sense and is incredibly easy, but your child is overwhelmed by it.
Learn to step back and observe how he learns and how he thinks.
A: As much as possible, I tried to keep my preschoolers in the same room or general area while we were doing school. During the summer, I would prepare special fun activities they could do to learn from while the others were doing their school. See Schooltime Activities for Preschoolers for a list of ideas we used
I have always worked by setting a basic schedule to accomplish what I know I need to have done. But there are times in life when all the best intentions just don’t cut it, and life “interrupts” the best laid plans. I have found though, that God is the master; in my experience, there have been several times that God has planned for my family a “curriculum” we would not have chosen for ourselves. In retrospect, however, it was during those stressful times that we grew together as a family and learned some lessons of the true meaning of life.
How do you deal with children who don’t seem interested or who don’t seem to want to learn?
First of all, I have learned, that some kids need to move to remain alert. It’s almost as if they just can’t get their brain to focus. They can be sitting, looking at something you know they know how to do, and yet it seems that although they are physically present, their brain is just not in gear. I think of one of my boys in particular. With him, he just needed to get up and move. He’d ask me if he could go jump on the trampoline to wake up his brain, and it really did work! Especially boys just seem to need to move, and when kept sitting still for long periods of time, they click into zombie mode. Several times during the course of a morning, he would go outside and run or jump on the trampoline, come back in and be able to focus again. I noticed with him also, when spelling his words out loud (which worked much better than writing them for him), he could think better if he was moving, climbing on the couch or scooting around on the floor. If you have one like that, let him move. When he is older, he will be able to sit and concentrate for longer periods of time, but don’t rush it when he is young.
I began homeschooling my first son when he was in kindergarten. What a joy..a firstborn eager to learn all he could just as fast as he could! I thought, wow- this homeschooling really is wonderful; and it was! But when my other children came along I expected they would learn just the way Rick did. Surprise!Each one of my children was very different and learned in the unique way God made them.Continue reading Homeschooling Struggles: Part 2- Struggling Learners→