Friday, September 23, 2011

Homeschool Bennies #16

We are free to be flexible with our curriculum.

If something is not working for us we can change it or chuck it.  Maybe it worked for one child but not another.  No problem.  Sure, we don't want to be capricious.  We still need to work diligently at things that are difficult.  We don't want to give our kids the message that if something doesn't work we can just quit.  But that's not what I'm talking about.

We recognize that our kids have strengths and weaknesses.  They have their own learning styles.  They have unique interests and passions.  We can use that to our and their advantage!

Gunnar is fascinated and tender-hearted toward animals.  Guess what we're doing for Science next year?  Tate loves to read about armies, soldiers, weapons, and military history.  Guess what we'll be reading about in our history/social studies next year?  Would you rather write a research paper about the Boston Tea Party or put yourself in the story with historical fiction?  Would you rather study fossils or caves?  Would you rather paint a picture or make a collage?  Whenever I can give the kids a choice, I will.

With curriculum, what works for one family may not work for another.  I remember interviewing several friends when I was thinking about homeschooling.  One mom showed me a curriculum she loved called "Spell to Write and Read."  It uses that very progression with little kids - learning spelling rules to teach writing which in turn teaches reading.  It was awesome, she was really enthused about it, and it was very successful with her girls.


But it would've been a disaster with my boys.  Not that there was anything feminine about the curriculum, but the whole thing was backwards.  Writing (fine motor skills) has to come before reading?  Not in this house!

But no problem!  I rejoice with her, and I choose something different for us :D


leah said...

The learning to spell before reading is an interesting idea - I can see how it would work really well for kids with great fine motor skills! Matt is already reading (not sure which official "level" he is reading at, but he can read any book on the level of Cat in the Hat) - but he can't write very well at all. Boys definitely have a different timeline with the fine motor skills!

Before Matt started Kindergarten, I just worked with him by reading to him a LOT and we had the Bob books, too. He started kindergarten ahead of the pack... I hope to do the same with Nolan.

Ruby said...

All these good homeschool posts I've been reading and have only just worked out what a "Bennie" is! I know, I know. I am slow on the uptake and its not an abreviation we use here. That's my mistake.
I made the opposite mistake with reading. My girls learnt (easily) with one program and after an eight year gap I started the boys using a phonics program which many her loved. Bad move. I should have stuck with the other which would have suited the boys better. We used in only for twelve months but by then they were already struggling. Turns out they have APD and needed different stuff anyway. You live and learn.

The dB family said...

Yes, yes! *me cheering*


Jena Webber said...

Heya! I haven't been here in soooooo long. Hope we are still best friends. I agree. Boys learn totally differently from girls. Emily is obsessive about writing everything and traditional learning. Homeschooling boys is where the action is. Glad you are having fun with it still! Keep on!