Tuesday, April 29, 2014

7 Things I Will Never Again Do

Oh the mistakes that can be made by homeschoolers, no matter if they're in their first year or far beyond that. I've made several. Yes, I will admit to it and I'm willing to bet that many of you secretly know that you have too. I'm not talking major failure that we all fear at one point or another, just simple mistakes that we've learned from.

So, here are seven things I will never again do in our homeschool.

1. I will never stick with a curriculum even though we all hate it. When we first started homeschooling I thought that doing an online program that had everything in the world mapped out for us would be the best thing ever. WRONG! For us it just didn't work. We were bored, the kids weren't learning, I often had no clue what exactly they were supposed to be being taught, and they whined all the time that it was too repetitive.

2. I will never again assume what works for one child will for another. Horrible admission here but I had seriously thought that no matter the issues any child had they could learn in the exact same way that previous children had. WRONG! My middle daughter, YCJ, has dyslexia and there is no way that she could learn to read the same way my son, ECJ, did because he doesn't have that learning difference. Peanut will be a whole new challenge because she is legally blind and though she can currently see with her glasses eventually that will not be the case (we've known this for two years now) so this will require page magnifiers and eventually braille (which I too will have to learn). There truly is nothing out there that is one size fits all when it comes to learning.

3. I will never do a lapbook with my Cracker Jack's again. While lapbooking works for many many people out there it did not work for either ECJ or YCJ. They really disliked them, didn't learn much from them, and fought nearly the whole time they made them. Presented the same material in a different fashion they learned far more than I intended for them to learn. I may try lapbooking with Peanut next fall, but that will depend on how I feel she'll receive it.

4. I will never assume that just because x number of other homeschoolers prefer a program that I should use that program as well. I think that one pretty much explains itself. You should never try to mold yourself into someone else's methods or ways of teaching by using the same curriculum only because they say it's the best. You may find for your family it is a horrible fit.

5. I will never pay full price for a curriculum we've never used before. I've done this (*hanging my head in shame*) only to discover that it was a curriculum that just wouldn't work for us no matter how hard I tweaked it. Tossing hundreds of dollars down the drain basically when I had to purchase new curriculum. By the by, I try to purchase most of my curriculum used for money purposes anyway.

6. I will never again simply walk away from a frustrated child when they're trying to learn something new. This never fixes anything. The child gets more frustrated. They don't learn the new concept. They feel abandoned. And I feel guilty. Case closed.

7. I will never, ever, ever again trust that anything online, streamed, or on DVD is teaching my children correctly. There is nothing wrong with most of the material that we as homeschoolers use online, or through streaming, or on DVD. However, I have found numerous mistakes when reviewing the information taught. Or, worse yet for us, found teaching against our religious views that I then need to explain in some fashion that could have simply been avoided.

Not such a horrible list. But, I'll never do any of them again!

Linking up today with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
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  1. Sounds like a sound list to me! I would add I'll never feel like I have to finish every book to be done for the year!

  2. Funny you mention the lapbooks. I like the idea of them, but my kids haven't ever done one. It just doesn't seem to fit the way we learn. We are finishing up our 3rd year. Just a few months ago I realized I was having them do every page of the grammar workbook just because it was there. I started doing pretests and letting them skip things they already know well. It's really improved their attitudes and allows them to spend more time doing things like writing - which is probably more beneficial anyway.

    1. It seems the longer we homeschool the less we feel we "must" do anything. If something works for our children then great! If not then we move on and we're fine with it. :-) We'd only tried the one lapbook because they were both on the same topic and I figured that having them work together, because they were often arguing at the time, would help their attitudes and they'd learn something at the same time. BIG FAIL. They told me that all they learned was, "If we're fighting you're gonna make us do something that doesn't make any sense." ... Kinda really set me back a pace and realize that I'd pretty much done just that because lapbook work didn't make sense for either of them.