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Homeschooling the 3 Rs
Homeschooling and getting back to the basics. I mentioned in my Math-it Review that I am fortunate to not only belong to a wonderful homeschool group but to have a great friend who is a veteran homeschooler. My friend was the speaker at our last homeschool group meeting. She gave such an encouraging talk that really put some perspective on some things for me. One of those being the foundation of what we teach our kids through the grade school years.
Here’s a few of the main take-a ways and light bulb moments that I had.
Grade School should be first and foremost about Character building, Play and then Academics!! It’s OK if you have to stop and re-read that again. Yes, academics was not first on that list. It’s last. Not to say that we should just stop teaching them any academics at all but in grade school (and that’s K-5) it should primarily be about character building and play. Let’s say they can major in those two areas and minor in academics.
These are those precious years when they are developing who they are going to be. Their inner character. Remember why we chose to homeschool in the first place. So that we could help mold them into the wonderful men and women they’re going to be. Not so that someone else could mold them…so that WE as their parents could mold them. That’s at least one of the reasons I chose to homeschool.
Play…children should play. Get out in nature and play. What better way to learn science then to go on a nature walk, look at the birds, the leaves, etc. The other thing about play that hit home was developing those sibling relationships. That is so important. Make sure that the bonds developed between your kids is strong. Give them time to play together. Siblings will be together forever where as other friendships may come and go.
Academics – we can still have a focus on academics but go back to the basics, the 3 Rs. Let’s make sure that in grade school they have a good foundation of reading, writing and arithmetic.
Reading – Find great chapter books that they like and read to them as a family. Have them read to you. As they get a good foundation of reading, then they can start reading by themselves. Instill in them a love for reading.
Writing – have them write often. Journal about their day, dictating, writing a letter to Grandma, copying verses. At this stage, do not worry about grammar and spelling. Let their creativity flow. If they ask you how to spell something, encourage them to sound it out. This will help with their phonics. If they are writing a letter to Grandma, you can correct a few things together before they send it. As far as spelling..if you notice that they are continually mis-spelling a word, then sure, use that as a learning tool and add it to spelling words to learn for the week.
Arithmetics – establish a good solid foundation. Find a program like Math-it or Calculatter so that they know their adding, subtraction, multiplication and division tables. Once they have this good foundation, they will be able to grasp the other math concepts that they’ll start learning in Middle School. There’s not much need to introduce anything else in grade school.
I hope that this inspires you and maybe even you can have a light bulb moment too. 🙂