When I decided that our homeschooling curriculum would be the path of classical education I knew that there was a lot expected of me as a teacher and as my kids as students. The schedule outlined in the books was a bit overwhelming with everything to be taught during the day.
I’m all for my kids learning as much as they can but I also believe that they should experience the great outdoors and be physically active.
As we worked through separate books on grammar, writing, spelling, math, etc. I was feeling like too much time was spent indoors and that subjects weren’t lining up as I had expected them to. I thought that grammar, reading, and writing would be all on the same page.
Also, I noticed that my daughter wasn’t enjoying the learning we were doing. I know that school isn’t always fun but I didn’t like seeing her sigh and get all attitude-y when I said it was time to learn.
So, I started to do things different. Instead of doing separate workbooks for subjects I figured out how I could merge them together.
Before we were spending about 30 minutes on grammar, 45 minutes on writing, 20 minutes on reading, and 20 minutes on cursive. That was a lot of time and frankly I wasn’t always able to do all this in a day.
Instead, I changed it up and had her read a chapter of a book she enjoyed (we just finished Dracula), then we would talk about grammar from the reading, she would do writing based on the chapter and the writing would be in cursive. This takes 20 to 30 minutes each day and it’s so much easier on all of us.
There wasn’t as much attitude when it was time to learn (is it possible to completely get rid of attitude from kids?) and it left us with more time to play outside.
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out I could teach in my own way. Maybe it’s because this is all so new to us still.
So the lesson I want to pass on to others is that you can be flexible in what you do when homeschooling.
Let the curriculum plan be your guide but not your commandments. It’s not carved in stone, you can change it.
Do what works best for your family and don’t forget to allow time for playing.