It’s that time of year. The time of year where if two homeschooling moms get together — even if it’s in the aisles of Wal-Mart — their thoughts turn to how their kids measure up.
It’s that time where we wonder if we’ve really done a good job. How would our kids compare to others? What if they got thrust into a traditional classroom? Would they be okay? Where would they be ahead? Where might they be behind?
This is the point in the school year where I take an honest assessment of my kids. Spelling has never been our strong suit. For my 8 year old it’s math facts. The kind that come with lots of flash cards. I’m a good speller, but I hate the roteness of it which means I struggle to make sure my kids get what they need. The same with multiplication and division facts. This year I finally found a program that seems to fit us…but now, I wonder if I need to move my oldest back to a more traditional approach. The questions and doubts never end. Here’s how I try to handle the questions.
1) Research. I ask other moms. How are their kids doing? What do they use? What seems to work or what was an absolute failure. It’s important to remember that there are different learning skills and styles. Now there are different approaches that help with most of those styles. But ask others for advice. They might have something that worked brilliantly or not so well. With all the choices out there for homeschoolers, don’t try to evaluate them on your own.
2) Pray. God know our kids so much better than we do. He’ll direct us to the right approach. Spelling is our bugaboo, but as I prayed about it, I felt a conviction to hold back and work on reading and writing. If the reading excelled, I thought she’d begin to understand when a word just didn’t look right. That approach has paid off. While not an exceptional speller — yet — her spelling is definitely at grade level now. Maybe by next year, we’ll get ahead.
3) Be diligent but relax. I’ve decided my kids stress when I stress. And stress is not really the best environment for learning. My daughter got jazzed about algebra when she realized it was a puzzle. Now to convince her spelling is the same!
How do you handle the questions that come with homeschooling?