This week we asked the bloggers here at Growing Your Homeschool,
Depending on when you started and when you finish, we are about halfway through our 2011-2012 school year. What have you learned this year that you didn't know before that has impacted the way you do homeschooling? You can list several things if you like.
Jessica- GREAT question. I have learned the impact routine planning can have. Previously in my journey as a homeschooling parent, I found myself a slave to planning (and making everyone stay with it!). I have learned this year that the lesson plans are less important than the time structure. When we have a loose schedule that allows me to spend time focused on helping each child learn, we all accomplish more. I have been able to be more flexible (You already know how to do this, let's skip it) and more helpful (this is still giving you trouble, let's work on it some more instead of moving on to the next lesson). I have applied the same 'flexible routine' to teaching my children to help manage the household. Instead of daily/weekly chore lists that are already made, I assign each child tasks each day. This way, the tasks can change to meet the needs of the household at the time as well as the interests of the child performing them (I had one begging to learn to iron so it became her chore to press napkins one day - NO I don't press napkins, this was an invented chore!) It also helps keep things interesting and helps me feel free to change assignments or portions of the routine. Everyone continues to feel fresh and excited about most of their learning this way.
Aurie- I have learned to relax and go with the flow. I've learned that Sophie is an interest led learner, which has been eye opening for me. I've learned that I don't need to teach Sophie everything right now. I've learned that it's okay to ask questions when I have no idea what I am doing. It's been an amazing journey so far :)
Dorie Kay- One of our biggest changes this year was implementing a more structured routine. It has made a tremendous difference in the flow of our days. Another thing I am learning is to prioritize better. There was a time when I tried to do everything. It isn't possible for me, and it was way too taxing on the children. This year, there are actually good things we said no to, so we can focus on the better and best things. I am hoping to sharpen this skill as I begin to plan for next year.
Marla- The biggest thing that I have learned this year is that I don't have to do it all myself. I LOVE creating my own curriculum and making all of my own activities. It is a lot of fun for me! However, sometimes, I simply do not have the time to do that and everything else that I need to do. I have learned to balance the activities that I create with activities that others have made (there are some fabulous bloggers who share preschool activities for free). Not creating everything myself has greatly improved homeschooling for me and for my girls!
Tracy- Our biggest change has been a much less structured routine. Homeschooling while pregnant has been quite the challenge, but I've loved to see just how much my kids can learn from 1 to 1 1/2 hours of relaxed learning time.
Delena- This is our first year to homeschool, and I quickly realized that it doesn't matter if I'm tired or not feeling like doing school, I still NEED to do it for the sake of my son. I have also learned to watch for signs of fatigue (he's only 5) so that we don't let him get burned out on something too quickly. I've learned that if I make it funny he is able to remember it better--which is how his Mom learns, too. :-)
What have you learned so far in your homeschool year?