My girls have been homeschooled for more than a year now, and it has been such a joy to witness them bloom and learn! There were rough days (mostly me being impatient) but the reward of being part of their learning makes everything worth it :) If you're new to homeschooling or has hit a rough patch (it's normal by the way, hihi), here are the top 3 things I learned to make it enjoyable for you and your kids:
1. KNOW YOUR CHILD'S INTERESTS.
And use it in their lessons. When I started homeschooling the kids, they were very fascinated with penguins and anything that lives in the North / South Poles. And so, for Math, we counted penguins (stuff toys, small figurines, etc) jumping into a bowl of water. Needless to say, it was a hit and it made abstract Math more concrete and enjoyable :) For pre-writing, I look for writing implements with penguin design. That's how The Eldest learned to make shapes (see below). See the pattern here? Lessons with the kids' current favorites WILL hold their interest long enough for them to learn what you are teaching.
|PRE-WRITING / Preschool Writing :)|
A lot has been said that children learn in different ways. Some learn by visual aids and some learn by directly applying the lessons being taught. My two kids learn very differently. The Eldest learn by moving around, touching and feeling everything. She was a whirlwind during our classes! LOL! The Youngest, meanwhile, learn by observing and listening. When she was a baby, I often see her looking at my mouth when I'm talking to her. I (correctly) guessed that she's noting how words she's hearing are formed by my mouth. Thus, it didn't come a surprise to me when she started talking before she was one year old. By 19 months, she was speaking in grammatically correct sentences.
To know your child's learning style, observe him / her at play, while in school or studying, and while in rest mode. Does he / she takes things apart? Or does he / she reads books more than handling toys? Maybe he / she loves running around, shouting to the wind? :) When you're done observing your kid, kindly go here. And after it, read about the different styles of learning:
- Understanding Your Child's Learning Style
- Children's Learning Styles
- Leaning Styles in Children
- Know Your Students (list of activities for each style)
So, how do you apply your child's learning style when you teach? Just follow the list of activities per learning style in the last link above ;-) In the case of The Eldest who is a tactile / kinesthetic learner, we always do hands-on activities with her-- painting, dancing (to counting songs for a sneaky Math lesson, hehe), learning with wooden blocks and other manipulatives. And when we do workbook, we take a break after 15minutes and let her jog, hopscotch or do jumping jacks. Haha!
|DIY hopscotch pattern (I used washi tapes) for the kinesthetic learner in learning 1-10 :)|
3. KNOW YOUR CHILD'S BODY CLOCK.
Is your kid an early riser or loves to wake up late? Is he / she up and about the moment he / she wakes up or does he /she dawdles in bed? Is your kid still napping in the morning or afternoon? Does he / she get cranky when hungry? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you find the optimal time for your homeschool lessons. In our case, my kids are both early risers so we eat breakfast early and then do our lessons immediately after eating. We take a break for snacks around 10-1030 (to avoid low blood sugar tantrums, hehe) and then finish the lessons by 12nn. Then it's lunch and naptime. Because they both nap til mid-afternoon, we don't have lessons anymore~ just free play and some open-air backyard roaming :)
And that's about it! Three easy, peasy things to know so you and your child are set up for homeschooling success. Didn't read the long post? Here's the one-sentence version, hahaha! You should know your child's interests, learning style plus body clock; and then design your lessons to incorporate what you knew so your child will have an enjoyable time learning. Good luck homeschooling parents!