Have you ever been frustrated with trying to teach one of your kids? That’s normal!
Every child is different, and yet in the teaching of my 14, there are some things I noticed that might help you in your experience. I found apart from learning styles, such as visual, auditory, etc., there are also distinct motivational differences in kids.
I boiled it down to basically four different motivational categories my kids seemed to fall into, although each brought their own distinctive traits into play as well.
# 1 The Self-Directed Learner
This child likes to set his own goals and thinks in terms of challenging himself. He loves to pick a target and shoot at it (often a first born). He is bored with too much guidance and needs to work at this own pace. He is not easily discouraged by setbacks, he seems to do his best when allowed as much freedom as possible to design his own plan, set his own pace, and set his own objectives on his way to his ultimate goal. Be careful not to discourage him by making him stick to the plan in the book. He may have thought of a better way to do it!
Here is a great and tasty object lesson you can do with your children. It is one of the projects found in our Character Concepts for Preschoolers Mom’s Guide. I found this recipe/idea years ago from an old Bible cookbook for kids that had different Bible lessons with recipes to go along with them.
This one become a favorite. In fact, when our youngest child, Kasey, was a little girl, she began calling sweets ‘sin’ and asking for some ‘sin’ for dessert! That always brought some laughter!
Just last week when I had 4 of the grand kids over for a couple of days, I brought out this recipe to make with them. They wondered what in the world we were doing when Kasey and I suggested making “hidden sins” for dessert! 🙂
One thing I’ve discovered in 36 years of homeschooling is that to effectively homeschool, you have to be home! Sounds simple, but honestly there are SO many good opportunities to involve your kids in that it’s hard to accomplish.
I found it really hard in the early years to say no to people. There are so many ministries to be involved in, athletic events for kids to participate in, group sports, multiple lessons, classes to be taken, etc. The list is endless.
I found it necessary to constantly evaluate. Is this opportunity a distraction from my priorities or my kid’s priorities. Busyness is normal in our culture, but it’s possible to be too busy to think properly.
I want my kids to have opportunities, but too many opportunities clutters up their life and thinking. God’s Word is number one priority and maybe the easiest thing to put on the back burner if we are not vigilant about it. NOTHING is more important than our relationship with the Lord. We must cultivate it, though. We have to take time to have a quiet heart before the Lord and develop our relationship with Him.
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.