Monday, February 16, 2015

What to teach each day at homeschooling?

One of the first things I had to figure out when I decided to homeschool my two youngest children was "WHAT was I going to teach?".  What was important to us as a family?  What benefited my kids the most?
I have two very different learners.  The way they learn and how I teach them differs from one child to another.  
When I began thinking about homeschooling, I made a list.  A list of what my boys needed to spend time on in homeschooling and what I wanted to teach.  From that list, my lesson plan was made.  I quickly found out, that I was getting caught up in what I *thought* I needed to be teaching.  I needed to take a step back and and reevalutate my lesson plan.  I was over scheduling, over teaching, and my kids and I,  would soon burn out if I wasn't careful.
For us, phonics work was our most important study.  As a mother of three kids with learning differences (two that are currently being homeschooled), this is what we needed to work on.  Up until about 2nd grade, kids are learning to read. After second grade, kids are reading to learn.  Since my middle son is dyslexic, he is still working through his tutoring using the Wilson Reading System.  He is making gains but still not quite on grade level (a word that I slowly working out of my vocabulary as I venture further down the homeschooling road ;) ).  My youngest has Expressive Language Delay but has made huge gains.  He now just needs work in fluency.  Phonics work was the number one thing on my list.  And I needed to do phonics work everyday.
I found at first that my want list was filling up our time and squeezing our NEEDS.  I needed to adjust our schedule.  Geography is a want.  But is it a need right now?  No.  How do we work in some fun things that my kids want to do with our needs?  How can I keep from over loading my boys?  
I realized I needed to slow down.  Take some stuff OFF the schedule.  Allow for some down time, allow for some fun stuff and try to remember that it is not a race, homeschooling is a journey and we should be enjoying the ride!
I paired back our schedule and we couldn't be happier!  We still do our needs but I leave the wants for Fridays!  Friday is our fun day.  Science experiments, Physical Education, Geography, map work, Field Trips, and researching our favorite topics.  
This has helped a lot.  I can be more creative with the NEED list and introduce the materials in fun new ways. 
Happier kids + Happier mom = a positive homeschooling experience!
Thanks for stopping by!

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