Wednesday, October 19, 2011
My Biggest Homeschooling Mistake
Over at the blog Simple Homeschool http://simplehomeschool.net/ they have been running a series in which contributors have been sharing their biggest homeschooling mistake. It's made me contemplate my own journey, and what I would consider my biggest homeschooling mistake.
This may not be the BIGGEST mistake, but it's the one that rolls around in my head when I ponder this topic...
Trying to make homeschooling just like traditional school.
When I started homeschooling, one of my goals was to always have some sort of hands on activities for all subjects, because when my children were in public school there was such a lack of time for them to have the hands on experiences.
Then, as always, the doubts start whispering in my ear...
(Is this what they would be doing in public school? How do they compare? Shouldn't we be doing more pencil and paper work? Are they getting behind? WILL THIS BE ON THE TEST?! )
Sometimes I would listen to those doubts and spend lots of money to frantically change up the curriculum to a more stringent format, where everyone is taking notes and documenting everything and writing reports on everything. Totally sucked the fun right out of school. I could tell the kids were just going through the motions...and I wanted better than that! The whole reason I homeschool is so my children will *love* learning! I wanted their lives to be richer. And frankly, all that dry stuff actually impeded the learning process. When I would notice the symptoms- the begging to have a day off of school, the lack of retention when quizzed on topics, the general bad attitudes about learning and school and such....I would realize it was time to get back to the basics of why I chose to homeschool in the first place.
You would think that after the first few times of listening to those doubts, I would learn to just not listen. Wrong. I fall into that trap now and again.
Lately we have been having a blast with our unit studies on the works of Poe, the field trips, the hands on math activities. I feel confident and am amazed at the capability of my children to learn from all sorts of experiences-not just from books.
I hope those doubts stay away for a long while. And I remain thankful that I chose this homeschooling journey because it *is* flexible and we *can* change it around when something doesn't work for us!