Sunday, February 12, 2012

What To Teach?

We can get too easily bogged down in the academic part of homeschooling, a relatively minor part of the whole, which is to raise competent, caring, literate, happy people. ~ Diane Flynn Keith

I am excited as I watch my children blossom into the kind of people I enjoy being around.  They enjoy learning, appreciate others, and are well mannered.  Jared opens doors and does chores without being asked; Mercedes shows tremendous responsibility and trustworthiness far beyond her years.  They often help each other with their school work.  Mercedes is preparing to babysit.  Jared is preparing for his Eagle scout (he's 9 - at this point it's simply setting the goal). 

What do you teach when you homeschool?

I focus on the 3Rs - Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmatic.  We do a lot of history, both reading and by watching documentaries on YouTube (gotta love the Internet for curriculum!).  Now that we're coming up on the American Revolution, we're discussing the factors that lead to the Revolution and how they apply today. 

I also teach home management skills.  People don't seem to do this, but as a working homeschooling mother I cannot do what I do without my children's help.  We work with chore charts and establish routines that will serve them for years to come.  The kids help with laundry, cooking, menu planning, mending, vacuuming - and we discuss what laundry hampers are for (I've decided that the inability to use a hamper is on the Y chromosome...).  Why is it important to keep our home neat and tidy? 

We read - a lot.  Jared is currently reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mercedes is reading Little House on the Prairie.  Both of these are favorites of mine, so I know when they haven't been reading.   

We're adding Spanish and French to the curriculum as well, as their father is Mexican (and his parents speak no English) and we have a friend who is a native speaker of French and German. 

I don't do much with the computer, other than locating accurate historical videos.  I find it is much more important to lay the foundation properly - literacy is much more vital than computer use. 

We do handwriting and copy work.  The time may come when they won't have access to a PC or smartphone - but they will always be able to write.

You see, I'm not raising "superkids."  I'm raising competent adults, who wont' be living in my basement.  I choose what I teach with that in mind.  If they like to learn, are well mannered, and interact well with the rest of society (not just their age groups), the rest is easy....

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