Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Letting your child lead in homeschool

Letting your child lead can be scary.

What if they fall behind? What if they don't know what other kids in their grade know?  It gets even scarier when you know your child wants to re-enter the public school system.  Even with those thoughts in your mind, there comes a time when you have to let your child lead.   You have to let your child have some choices on what they learn.  They know what interests them and what doesn't.

I had a really hard time with this concept.

My son has always been the type who just wants all his work laid out so he can complete it and go do what he wants to do.  He doesn't want to have mom teaching him.  He wants a textbook that he can read with clear expectations about what is required.  As a high schooler, we can do that.  I use Khan Academy, an online resource, for his math.  He does choose (from a list) his own reading for literature which we both read, then discuss and sometimes have questions to go with.  And the other subjects he has his textbooks.  He is happy with this.

Now my daughter is a completely different story.  She doesn't want textbooks.  She hates repetition and using workbooks.  She wants to learn what she wants.  Last year we focused heavily on English.  This year we've done minimum English and focused on Math and handwriting.  Her other lessons she picked her topics and I use them to build lessons around.  For science, I had purchased a textbook.  She didn't want the textbook.  She really wanted to learn about the brain and how it works.  So now we are doing a unit on the parts of the brain, what they do, why they do it, how it affects people, what happens when something doesn't work right.

Was this what I had planned for our science?
 No, but we are rolling with it and learning plenty.  She has developed a passion for psychology.  It's led to many interesting conversations, trips to the library and new movies.  One of those movies was a movie from 1944 called Gaslight which I had never seen or heard of.  It is a psychological movie about a man who marries a woman and convinces her she is crazy so he can find her aunt's hidden diamonds.  That led to a short story called The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson which you can download free here:
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/theliteratureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf

So sometimes you have to let go of your preconceived ideas of what you should be doing while homeschooling and allow your children the freedom to chose what they want to learn.

Happy Homeschooling and Blessed Be.