The sole focus (now) seems to be on graduating at the top of the class and with the highest scores on the standardized tests. (To me, that sounds an awful lot like the purpose of the schools we removed our children from.)
Gone are the days where we worried about the heart of your child, their character, etc.
Or perhaps I’m missing something.
When we began homeschooling, we didn’t do it just to push our children the same way schools do. We did it to guard their hearts, guide their minds, teach them how to think using a proper worldview and give them a full education that best suits them in an environment in which they can learn truth. This is why the Pioneers of homeschooling risked their freedom and many faced jail.
Yet, every time I turn around I hear that ‘this method is the method you should use so your children will score the highest on _______ (you fill in the blank) test.’
And I have to ask: Have we made an idol out of teaching methods?
Now, I’m not saying we should not have a plan, or that we should throw all caution to the wind. But I do think we need to be careful that we don’t place our families or children in a box, or a style on a pedestal.
This year, I’ve been especially thankful my husband has helped me steer clear of that danger.
This is out sixth year of homeschool and our oldest is in seventh grade. I’ve heard over and over that this is a transition year and what I heard was absolutely RIGHT. It is a HUGE transition year. Not only in what they are learning, but how they are learning (not just talking about teaching/learning style here, but hormones, as well).
So, here’s my advice on identifying your teaching method in your home.
- Find what works best for you and your children. You have to enjoy teaching it and it helps if they enjoy learning that way (or you need to find a happy medium).
- Know that everything changes. You change, your children change and this world changes. What you like today, you may not tomorrow.
- Don’t lock yourself in a box.
- Remember: just like things change today, teaching styles change. So, that style you think you are teaching may not be the actual style that was taught when it came about. (do your research and pray…)
- Find your own path, create your own learning adventures and talk with Moms who have been down the path you are on.
- Never, ever read a blog post or magazine and think your homeschool teaching method will look like theirs – even if it’s identical (in style), your homes, children and background are different and that all plays a role in how you teach and your children learn. (Hence, go talk to a live Mom who knows you and your children and you can see the fruit in her home of how she taught or is teaching… Is that the fruit you want? If so, go for it, but know, it WILL look a little different in your home).
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