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Just like the chill that sets in during winter, there is a concern that can set in on homeschoolers at this time of year. After the holidays are over and it’s time to go back to school, homeschoolers can start feeling jittery. Looking at the students who may not be thrilled about getting back into the routine and thinking about all you need to cover before the end of the year can produce a sort of panic... one that is easy to fall in to, but hard to get out of! It is the kind of panic that can cause you to throw away the methodology you love (and you know works) in favor of something more traditional, more productive looking, something with more paperwork. In your heart you know it isn’t the best way to learn, but what else can you do to address the rising sense of fear that you won’t get everything done? The best way to back down this lurking fear beast is to speak educational truth to it.  What do we know about the way children learn, and really anyone for that matter? We know that a variety of types of activities are most effective. If you have ever sat through a college class of three hours of lecture, you know that there is a limit to what you absorb. Some lecture, or instruction is good. Too much can be numbing! So, like a good meal, set a nice educational plate of variety. Incorporate discussion, reading, writing, and activity into your school day. How do children best remember what they learn? By attaching meaning to it! Learning by rote is best left to doing household chores, your address and the birthdays of your family members. When something that is learned is paired with activity and application it is much more likely to be remembered. The fact or piece of information is now attached to an experience and not just the ability to memorize. That’s why linking literature to content areas like history, science, and geography make so much sense. A memorable character or story connect concepts with content in a way that can seem effortless. Next, remember where you came from. Perspective is so important in learning. Without seeing the progress you have made since the beginning of the school year, you can forget what has been accomplished. Start your lessons after any extended break with plenty of review before you go forward. It will make everyone feel more successful! Once you have reviewed, your students are up to speed and ready to build on the foundation of learning that has already taken place. Now that you see all that has been accomplished, you can rest knowing that more learning will take place. Lastly, share the positives you see with your children. It is in your face that they see a reflection of how they are doing. While we know as teaching parents that we must adjust and correct our children, how you do that is of great influence in determining how far you will get! Your children are your blessings, not your educational burdens, so try to remind them of that fact daily. Build an atmosphere of encouragement. Real learning is a result of these simple keys. Our goal is not just a passing test score, but an equipped, interested learner. Incorporate these easy to apply principles and watch the chill of fear fade, replaced by the confidence  that what you do with your children will produce lasting learning and and students who can use the skills they have been taught. And remember to put this article somewhere you can find it next February...  

Comments

  • Posted On August 12, 2015 by Fran Shultis

    Thank you for the soothing article. I love your curriculum as does my 10-year-old son.

  • Posted On August 12, 2015 by Bojan

    Does anyone else think we heehscmoolors should be charged LESS school taxes because we have formally opted out of the public school system? Does a tax rebate or reduction seem reasonable anytime that one can formally opt out of a government run system? I probably would not be exploring this issue, or have started homeschooling, if I believed that my one and only local public school was a fair and reasonable place for children to grow and develop. Now that I have experienced the benefits of homeschooling, I see the silver lining and I am grateful. I want to keep homeschooling, but I know that it is not an option for everyone. That is why I feel we must all rally for positive changes to the public school system when we see the need. Even though we homeschool, we are still members of a community, and we know it takes a community to raise a child. A community needs more than school tax dollars to raise children. A community needs people that are willing to stand up for fair and just treatment for all. Please think about how you can make a difference. Will you ask for a reduction in school taxes for heehscmoolors? Will you get more involved with your local public school and rally for changes?

  • Posted On August 12, 2015 by Debbie Strayer

    Hi Fran -
    Thank you so much for your comment!
    I have always been given good reminders, so now I just get to pass them on.
    Have a wonderful February…
    Blessings,
    Debbie Strayer

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