|making a model of the solar system|
|Zach and Gabe (green and grey shirt) while waiting for their appointments|
My son had his portfolio review and assessment yesterday in TMA. I can officially say we're done with grade 5 and we can now fully rejoice.
This was our first year doing homeschool. When I closed his book after the last lesson in Math I said,
I can't believe we're done!Is it hard to homeschool your kids? YES! With the lessons, it's amazing how after all these years I still remember things I've learned from school. It's Math when I would usually get help from Mr. Google and youtube. Homeschooling moms of today would really thank the internet for lots of resources, references and help we could get from internet technology. Almost, if not all, that we need to know is in the worldwide web.
The hardest part in homeschooling mostly for me is dealing with my child's character. I realized what they said at the Homeschool 101 training,
Homeschooling is parenting,is so true.
The first few months were really terrible. Lots of tears fell. Our walls were witnesses to yelling and exchange of bickering and sometimes, sly words which were really regretted. I and my son literally fought. I and my husband fought too, once. He got fed up with the things I've been opening up to him about our homeschooling challenges but he felt that he can't do anything to help. He didn't know that when he listened and encouraged me, he has already given me the help I needed from him. I couldn't have done it without your support, thanks honey!
To hear experiences of other moms and to know that people are also going through the same things we were going through always gives me the strength I needed to go on again. It is helpful to know what other moms have been doing and get ideas from them. But what I realized is that, still it's you, the parent of your child is the only one capable to know how you're going to homeschool your child. Because each child is unique and you know him best.
After the first year, I can say that I knew my son even better now. And I could see that my child is learning happily than while he was in traditional school. Most of all, I felt that we are closer to each other now than before.
If you're new to homeschooling or is thinking about homeschooling your kids, here are a few tips I learned or realized from our experience that might help you as well:
- expect less from your child on the first few months. Always keep in mind that you're both adjusting to the new set-up. If they've been in the traditional school, they have thought of the school as the only place to study and the home, a place to play and rest. For first-time schoolers, it would also take time to get used to the new routine. It will really take time to unlearn some of the things from the past.
- understand that children are children and they love to play.....and dawdle. Mind-conditioning takes a lot of practice. That's why the next tip is important. Actually, play can be a part of homeschooling which is very helpful. Coz play is in the heart of every child. And if that's the way they will learn, then incorporate play in your homeschool activities. Sometimes, you need to just really let them play or take a breather for a few minutes.
- have a daily schedule posted on your wall or somewhere always visible. This is so helpful so the child knows what happens next. And when I see my son dawdling, I point them back to the schedule. But also, flexibility should be understood by both parent and child as it is one of the features of homeschooling. Make necessary compromises and considerations coz again, children are children.
- children are wise. They will make excuses (and complain) as long and as much as they can. They will manipulate you. But you need to be wiser to think of ways that would work for you and your child. And even though, we think they're young and don't understand, talking to them is very important. Explain things to them (in simple words) even if you're not sure if they can understand you at the moment. In time they will. And it's good when they get used to the idea of talking things out instead of whining or complaining.
- keep distractions away. Kids are easily distracted so keep gadgets, tv or anything that will distract them from focusing on their school work or from listening to you.
- Rules are very important. But keep them simple and at a minimum. Children need rules coz their minds need structure. For our family, I think, rules have really made an important part to make our homeschool work. One of our rules is, homeschool always comes first. So if they're done with homeschooling for the day, then they can play with the iPad and do whatever they want to do. It's like their reward for finishing their tasks for the day. Hubby even made a flowchart about this rule and tasks and rewards etc. I think I'd like to share that in a different post.
- listen to them. Listening to your child is the only way you will get to know him and from there you'll understand and be able to think how you're going to deal with them. Discipline starts from the heart, they say.
- be sure to meet all their needs first. Before you start the day, always make sure that your child is not hungry or sick. I've noticed that it's harder to make my kids obey if they don't feel loved. But if I took time first thing to make my son feel loved, then it becomes easy for him to obey coz he got what we need first thing...and always.
- Pray. Before you could give, you need to be full yourself. And the one thing that makes me give myself to my child is when I also had what I needed. And that's the connection with my Father and then with my husband. Homeschooling really takes a lot from the parent-teacher. I set a time for myself each day for prayer and bible reading. And at night, a time to catch up with hubby. Still, I'm not saying that if I get all these, then everything's perfect? No. Things come up when you least expect it. The day I thought I was being patient with my kids and things are getting fine, then suddenly, BEEP! trouble trouble. You'll be tested and you need to always remind yourself to stop and think and pray.
I need to park on this. I didn't realize this blog could get this long the moment I started typing.
Anyway, I have to say that I'm not a pro. The tips above didn't come to me in just a snap. It took time for me to realize those things. I still have a lot to learn about homeschooling. Starting this year, I'll be homeschooling both of our sons already. I'm sure huge difference is coming our way.
So bye for now. Have a great day lovelies!