1st Year Homeschooling Discovery

Recently, I met with a mother I have been mentoring as she and her three sons started their homeschooling journey. I love to hear about the adventures and discoveries people have enjoyed, as well as, the bumps in the road they have navigated. What I persoanlly experienced and continue to notice about families new to homeschooling is the common question of,  “How do I as the parent make homeschooling work and find time to maintain record keeping?”. If this is you then read on and get ready to free yourself. What I discovered and found to be true is the onous is not solely on the parents to get work done and compile records. Never forget this is your child’s education and they can and will learn to be responsible for brainstorimg project ideas and completing them without you hovering over them. Children also are very good and enjoy maintaining attendance records, reading logs, project binders, and whatever other records you wish to have on hand. This was successfully done by my children starting at ages 5 and 6 plus they took great pride in being entrusted with the responsibility once they knew its importance. Parents please free yourselves from the notion that your actions will make or break your families homeschooling success. By all means be an active part of your child’s schooling but be a sounding board and not a dictator. The day you see your child excited and driven to learn because they have taken ownership of this part of their lives is akin to their first step or first words because you know a milestone has been reached in their lives.

Here are comments and ideas my friend, the new homeschooler, and I recently discussed:

An older son is bored with writing assignments per the curriculum the family uses. Mother feels the need to come up with an exciting writing assignment (sound familiar). My suggestion is have the son come up with a topic he is genuinely interested in. What I discovered is the young man is an accomplished video gamer, who competes in gaming contests. A suggested writing assignment is for him to discuss how this can become a career, which is his goal. A possible project encompassing many subject areas is for him to design his own video game concept and research what it takes to make the idea a reality. The ideas we came up with might sound obvious but at times we all become bogged down in a routine and need to bounce ideas off of others with experience. There is no better way to get a child excited about learning than to help them see that learning can be practical and apply to their unique interests and talents. The more we discussed the possibilities for his learning the more excited we both became and the ideas just started appearing within this impromtu brainstorming session. Not only did our discussion make this mother feel like she now could better help her son but she also saw that with minimal assistance from her he could be the driver for his continued education. She truly felt releaved and revived knowing she could take this same approach with her two younger sons and dive into interest based learning knowing they had interests to kickstart learning sessions with her as their facilitator.

If you are new to the concept of interest based learning and how it generates learning opportunities, please go to the first blog on this website and watch the video. For further information on how I used this with my four children please read my book and feel free to ask me questions via email. Helping families find joy and succes in their homoeschooling journey is why I started this mentoring path.

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