Monday, August 5, 2013

Homeschooling for Excellence


There are many great reasons to homeschool— to spend more quality time with your children, to ensure that your values and not someone else’s are taught to your child, to use a Christ-centered curriculum, or to best meet the educational needs of your children. All of these factors have contributed to my decision to homeschool, but for this blog hop series, I am going to focus on the academic advantages of homeschooling.

When my first child was born, homeschooling wasn’t even a consideration. Sending one’s child to public school when he or she turned five was just what “everybody” did. However, my first child wasn’t exactly average academically. She was speaking in full sentences at 18 months, knew all her letters and letter sounds by age 2 1/2 (with minimal teaching input from me), started reading at age 3, and was reading chapter books by 4. 

I remembered back to my early school years. I was learning to read when I started Kindergarten, but the school I attended didn’t teach reading until the second semester of first grade. I always enjoyed school, but didn’t learn much through much of my elementary years. I just couldn’t rationalize sending my daughter to Kindergarten where she would just be bored.

So began our homeschooling journey. Our initial intent was to have Allison skip Kindergarten, starting first grade at 5 1/2. We would  teach her at home for 2 years and put her in school a year ahead for third grade.

Then came my son. He wasn’t quite as far ahead academically, but was still very bright. And he was a wiggly distractible boy. I just wasn’t sure how he would do in a classroom situation. So we homeschooled him too. By then, I realized how much I enjoyed teaching my own children and having them with me all day.  Allison did go to school for third and fourth grades, then we pulled her out again. Other than that, the older three were homeschooled until high school, when they did finally go to “real school.”

I have found that homeschooling has allowed me to adapt what I teach to what my kids need to learn at the time. If they have mastered a concept, we move on.  If they need more practice, we slow down, or search out another way to teach it. If a child learns best by hearing books read aloud, that’s what I do. If another needs more hands-on learning, that’s what I provide. If we can save time by answering questions aloud instead of filling out a worksheet page, we do it. There is no waiting for everyone in the class to catch up; no busy work to fill the day.  Individual tutoring allows each student, whether academically gifted or learning disabled, to learn in the most efficient manner.

For us, homeschooling has been a great opportunity to meet my children’s needs and help them learn to their potential? How about you?

Click below to read more about homeschooling, from Notebooking to Teaching Toddlers.

Summer Blog Hop

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