The UPS man is not your motivational guru!
“What Every ___ Grader Ought to Know” is a silly concept. As if you will somehow fail your children if they don’t learn specific concepts at/by specific grades. The only way you will fail your child is if you fail to teach curiosity, observation, diligence, character, how to learn, and faith.
Curriculum, books or unschool, is one of the most important aspects of an enjoyable home school year. Books need to cost a lot but they should draw on one’s imagination, promote independent study, be clearly laid out for you/student to understand/follow, and be rich in material that matters. Charlotte Mason’s term ‘twaddle’ is with what curriculum made to fill 4.5 hours/day is filled. You want a spark not a check box.
The most complete reviews can be found at Cathy Duffy’s site. Ms. Duffy stays on top of the plethora of new material popping out of our ears. When my mum homeschooled my brother you could choose between BJU or Abeka boxed curriculum. Both are created for small private schools. Both have more than what the normal homeschooling mama needs. Both can be customized to your families needs.
- Optimize large muscle movement to increase cognitive development
- Elementary Age curriculum should teach about character and diligence
- Create, with your child, an expectation/consequence sheet and be consistent
- If they can’t count on you to follow through, you ought not to expect it of them
- Attitude continues to be a focus
- Self-control mastered by/before age 11 directly relates to happiness as an adult!
- Lots of reading
- Readers are children who are lonely, bored or overworked
- Siblings, technology, and modern day luxuries do not motivate children to read.
- Make reading a privilege.
- Model being a reader
- Readers are leaders
- Readers are children who are lonely, bored or overworked
The books used are not as important as how you relate to your child to the books.
Choose your books based upon how they garner and maintain your interest and their degree of ease in unpacking/learning/teaching the material.
Just because it worked wonders for your friend does not mean it will do the same for you. A sure dust collector is buying your friend’s favorite curriculum without holding it in your hot little hands before buying.
Less is more. Your can tailor anything to your child’s learning style. What you can’t do is tailor anything to inspire you to teach. We have used college texts to teach Kindergarten–they had such cool and real diagrams! –and children’s books for middle/high school research projects. It’s ALL okay! If it works for you, it will work for your child.
You will miss something (of course you will- at school they miss things all the time), or mess something up (of course, you will- at school….), or whatever. This is life, but you are the most vested person in your child’s life which tells me that you will bend over backward to get it right.
Definition of the Best Teacher: “The one who cares enough to earn each child’s heart, connect with that heart so as to gain that person’s attention long enough to inspire them to learn.” YOU don’t even have to work at being THAT person for your child(ren)! You have been since birth!
…..Keep Reading About the More Important Aspects of Home School……
- Middle School is the beginning of adult behaviors with you guiding your child(ren) toward:
- Diligence and attention to detail
- Responsibility and independence
- Caring about the quality of work
- By checking regularly, requiring corrections (not perfection), and checking the corrections
- Allow them to make choices within a parent regulated realm
- Create, with the child, consequences that fit the action/inaction
- Boys (and our men) NEED respect- just toss it in a sentence and see what happens
- “I respect your choice to ____ but cannot allow such behavior to continue. Do you have another way that you might handle/fix this problem?”
- Girls (and our women) NEED love- again, use it in a sentence and see what happens
- High School is a young version of who your child will be in college or career
- Control over their actions and choice as long ago evaporated
- Your main connection with them is to remain in relationship and communication
- Not to be confused with admonition, correction, berating which leads to shut down
- We don’t always like our teenager’s choices, actions, words but keeping in the forefront of our minds that only they can choose to change them directs the method and manner in which our words are spoken.
So, let’s take an actual look at levels and curriculum styles
Choose your books based upon how they garner and maintain your interest and ease of unpacking the material.
Just because it worked wonders for your friend does not mean it will do the same for you.
Taste, touch, see, before buying. The UPS man is not your home school motivational guru!
Usually, less is more. Your can tailor anything to your child’s learning style. What you can’t do is tailor anything to inspire you to teach. We have used college texts to teach K science–they had such cool and real diagrams! We have used children’s books as middle school research sources. It’s ALL okay! If it works for you, it will work for your child- you will make certain of that or you will change direction. This is your child. Have not fear that you will miss something (of course you will- at school they miss things all the time), or mess something up (of course, you will- at school….), or whatever. This is life, but you are the most vested person in your child’s life which tells me that you will bend over backward to get it right and then some. Trust yourself that you are the best teacher for your child. Definition of the Best Teacher: “The one who cares enough to learn each child’s heart and then connect with it so as to gain their attention long enough to inspire them to learn.” YOU don’t even have to work at being THAT person! You are!
- Perhaps cost is key which means selecting from various and sundry books/sources
- This is called Eclectic (in my humble opinion, the richest and least expensive option)
- Perhaps life is stressful enough and you need school to be real but not over taxing
- This is called Relaxed (woven with eclectic it cultivates amazing days of learning)
- Perhaps having work, scope, and sequence laid out for you is key
- A boxed curriculum works here
- Perhaps having a 3rd party leading the course and expectations
- This would be an academic program or Co-Op such as Classical Conversations, Writer’s Circle, etc
- High Schoolers take most of their classes through online, local homeschool programs, or dual credits. Look through the info on the High School page for more…..
A NICE CHECKLIST ARTICLE TO HELP YOU GET STARTED