Thursday, June 30, 2016

Self-Learning Is a Necessity

As we take about three weeks off of school between closing out the last academic year and beginning a new one, I am making final my curriculum plans for three grades: Fourth, Second, and Kindergarten. (I will publish them on this blog, as usual.)

Recently, I had a chance to speak in social settings with some professional school teachers about homeschooling, and the questions were so interesting because it had been years since I had 'stepped out of my bubble.' Virtually all my friends and mentors are homeschooling mothers, so I forget that homeschoolers are atypical.

"But how will you do it? How do you teach all the lessons to all the children?"

The answer is that I don't: It wouldn't be possible. As a homeschooling mother, I am noticing increasingly the necessity in our family to have my children self-learn as much as possible because of the sheer number of subjects I must teach.

From everything I've read and from inquiring of more experienced homeschooling families, by high-school the students should be teaching themselves their own courses and managing their own time. And isn't that the goal? A high-schooler is on the cusp of adulthood, when, theoretically, he or she will be able to get a full-time job, marry, and raise babies! If that young adult can't navigate a textbook or course on a subject he wants to learn, then, Houston, we have a problem.

How we get from these early elementary grades when a lot of hand-holding is required to an independent, self-guided learner in high-school is something I'm trying to learn along this journey.

This year, it looks like I will be teaching daily:

K- Math
K- Phonics
K- Music Theory
K- Penmanship
K- Catechism/Religion
K, 2, 4- Spelling (separate lesson for each student)
2- Math (unless I can transition her to Teaching Textbooks, so she can learn via computer lessons)
4- Composition
CCE Memory Work to all
CCE presentations every other week (children still need hand-holding for those)
Read aloud literature to all
Morning Basket to all

My mind is whirling with realizing just how much there is to teach, even when I've been intentionally teaching the children to be as independent of learners as possible. I still have to teach all the subjects to the Kindergartener, along with Spelling and Math to the other two grades, Composition to the fourth grader, and some more odds and ends . . . while supervising their other subjects, grading everything they complete, keeping the children on task, and occupying the three-year-old and almost-one-year-old (the last of which, at one time, seemed like a full-time job to me).

That is more than a full day!

Learning how to use Teaching Textbooks (math) on the computer

Subjects that the children must learn themselves with minimal supervision:

2, 4- Catechism/Religion
2, 4- History
2, 4- Geography
2, 4- Grammar
2, 4- Literature
2, 4- Penmanship
4- Typing
2, 4- Math
4- Latin
K, 2, 4- Instrument practice and Music Theory
2, 4- Science

I continue to try to wrap my mind around how this is all done. I know it's possible because I see families much larger than mine thriving and producing well-educated students! Step by step, we will get there!

1 comment:

  1. From a friend via email:

    This is so good! There are a few things I can have my transitioning into 5th grade and transitioning into 1st/2nd grade kiddos work on independently, but there is still SO MUCH hand holding. Interestingly, my 1st/2nd grader is much better at independent learning than the 5th grader (who did spend some time in public school, as you know). But then the 3yo wrecks a lot of havoc.