Monday, October 15, 2007

Reflections on 7 Weeks of "Official" Homeschooling

We are beginning our 8th week of "official" homeschooling today. Overall, I feel like things are going fairly well. DD has certainly made a lot of progress. In fact, the trickiest issue for me has been to find the right level of challenge for her. There's such a disconnect between her cognitive ability and her fine motor skills.

I tried to pick materials that were supposed to be less writing-dependent than most, such as Right Start Math and First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. She's been flying through the material but gets hung up on the written exercises part. She's such a perfectionist too, that she'll insist on erasing the whole letter/number if she's accidentally written it backwards rather than merely fixing the part that's wrong. That drives me nuts!

I've learned to let her dictate answers to me as much as possible, which has definitely made things go more smoothly. If the important part is her knowing the correct answer, then I don't mind writing them down for her. However, if it's copywork, I feel it's important for her to do it. I'm a big believer in Charlotte Mason's idea of learning correct grammar, usage, spelling, etc. as well as penmanship through copywork. I've been trying to minimize copywork by choosing the shortest options but it still seems to be a lot for her :-(

The other thing I've learned in the first 7 weeks of homeschooling is to only do 4 days of scheduled lessons and leave the 5th open for field trips or just general relaxed HS where she gets to pick what she wants to do for the various subjects. Honestly, I think she learns just as much (if not more) on these days. This is the type of HS we did last year for her "prep" year and I think it worked well. If it were entirely up to me, I'd probably continue this type of very relaxed home education in every subject but religion for now. DD is only turning 5 this week, and I think Dr. Raymond Moore was on to something with his whole "better late than early" philosophy about formal schooling. However, DH is still pretty skeptical about HS in general. I've still got to "sell" him on it as a long-term strategy rather than just a short-term solution for this current school year. So we're more "school-at-home" than I would prefer, but at least she's *HOME*.

3 comments:

Christina said...

Welcome back! Andrew Pudewa of Institute for Excellence in Writing recommends having kids work in pen rather than pencil to reduce the urge to perfectionism, in writing anyway. I wonder if it might be a good thing applied generally to get kids - especially kids with innate perfectionist tendencies - to be more accepting of mistakes and failures as a natural and important aspect of life...

deb said...

It sounds like you are doing an excellent job!

jennifer said...

Good to have you back! I also get driven mad by one of my kiddo's perfectionism - the complete erasing, the frustration. It really inhibits writing at this stage of the game. No solution yet, but maybe I'll try the pen thing Christina mentions...
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