Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Homeschool Stuff

Pin It I just wanted to share a couple of tips and tricks I've learned through the years. It's funny for me to think about being a mom of "older" homeschooled kids. As I'm seeing many friends starting their homeschools with their kindergarten and first grade aged kids, and I have a 7th grader and a 4th grader this year, I guess I am an older homeschool mom. Wow.

There are a few helpful things I've learned through the years though, and maybe something I've learned can be helpful to someone else.

The main thing - sometimes what is a huge struggle for a four year old may very well be a piece of cake for a six year old, and for nearly everything I can think of, it's just as well to wait until they're six and make it easy. We struggled to teach my oldest blends and two vowel words when she was four. For some reason I tied my entire self-worth up in having a child who was able to read by the time she was out of preK. She did learn, but it was a struggle, and school was not fun for her or for me. Poor guinea pig first children! (For what it's worth, I think there was no permanent damage done.)

Child #2 started first grade with the ability to read "pig," "dog," and "cat". We played through kindergarten and didn't worry about it. By the end of first grade, she was reading well. Very well. She was ready and it was super easy.

That's not to say, "hey, don't teach your kid to read!" but figure out where your child is and what they're ready for before stressing yourself and them out. :) You're homeschooling, you're in charge, so tailor it to your child's needs, and yours as well. The homeschool police will not come after you if your child is not reading until first grade or later.

Another tip - if something isn't working, feel free to scrap it and go on to the next thing. It took me quite a while to give myself permission to do that. I would think "I paid good money for this!" and "THIS person loves this, so it should work for me too!" Um, not necessarily. There are so many curriculum choices out there suitable for all different types of moms and kids! Don't feel stuck with something that isn't working.

And the last one for now ... We use workbooks here, and we keep track of pages done. By the time a couple of months have passed, the box that holds completely worksheets is a mess. By the end of the year, it's a fire hazard. This year, I saw that a friend had the spines taken off of her workbooks and had a spiral binding put on. Oh, how fabulous! I didn't ask how much it cost because I wanted to do it to our workbooks and didn't want to think it was more than I wanted to pay. LOL It was ... are you ready for this?

$4 per book. Seriously. Sooooo worth it! Office Depot did them for me. I took them one day and they had them ready the next.

Okay, that's it for my tips for now. If I think of some more, I'll make another post.

I will add -- I wrote this post over the last week. Yesterday was our first day. It was not a fabulous day. Oh the irony, right? We're up an at 'em this morning though, ready for a new day!

And I will add also ... another book giveaway coming tomorrow! :D


Terra said...

Wow! Thanks for telling us about the binding. I'm so going to do that.
I'm starting pre-k with my little one this year. Thanks for all of the helpful tips.
By the way, I found you at the Hip Homeschool Hop.

Kelly said...

Great tips! We love the binding trick here as well! Following from Hip Homeschool Hop.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

Great post! I have friends who do the binding trick & I've been thinking of doing that, too. Thanks for the reminder:)
Happy Schooling!

Jessica said...

Excellent post! Wonderful advice to us moms with younger ones! love ya! (and I just may put a link to this post on my blog, if you don't mind.)

Erika said...

I'm a homeschooling mom too and your tips are great and SO very encouraging! I have a 2nd grader this year & will be attempting a *little* preschool with my almost 4 year old daughter. I was homeschooled myself from 2nd-12th grade and I'm blessed to have my very knowledgeable mom to go to.

She told me the same thing you did about the ages. I remember stressing myself out trying to get my then 4 year old son to learn his letters & numbers & he just wouldn't! My mom told me not to worry, he WOULD learn them, but there was no rush. So I stopped. And sure enough, he was ready with kindergarten and in first grade, he started reading novels!

Thank you again for sharing that! It was a good reminder for me as I attempt a few things with my daughter> I also have a 14 month old and am pregnant with our 4th, so I know it's not worth the stress.

You definitely have a new follower! :)

God bless! Have a wonderful day! :)

The Iowa Farmer's Wife said...

thanks for the tips! my daughter is only 16 mos old, but I love soaking up as much info as I can. it seems overwhelming at times with all the curriculums and such out there, but your post made me feel like it'll all be ok whatever we decide! thank you and have a blessed school year!