Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Changing our homeschooling methods

This just goes to show how different kids learn. You can't fit every child in the same mold. Core Curriculum Standards are trying to make every child learn the exact same way, regardless if they thrive or not in that way. Homeschooling gives us the option to tailor our homesschool methods to each child.

We have always followed a Charlotte Mason style homeschool with our daughter. She loves to read and did well with the short lessons. I tried to imitate the same method with our son. I love the CM method of short lessons, so that will stay, but we have started to head towards a child directed learning. Not unschooling per-say, he has to do math and english everyday, no skipping those.

Matt hates math and I have mentioned to him that we can change curriculum if what we are using does not fit with his personality. He says the math is not hard, it is fine, but it is just a ton of problems. We are using Saxon 8/7 this year. He has always used Saxon while he was homeschooled. I have him do the lesson with the Dive disk, mental math and the practice problems. There isn't much work with those. He also does the timed worksheets daily, only we don't time him anymore. We use it as practice and have him do all the problems. Again, there isn't a lot of problems. I have him do either the odds or evens for the lesson work. 30 problems a day was too much for him and math was taking a couple hours to complete. He does part of the work in the morning and the rest later in the day. If he is having a hard time with a particular lesson, I have him do the other problems, either odd or evens that he did not do. There is also supplemental problems in the back of the worksheet book, if needed. So far he has not needed to add anything extra. He does good in math, just hates it.

He did not like what we were using for history, so I asked him what he wanted to learn about. I made a long list of history topics we could learn about. He chose the Vietnam War and World War II. He also asked to learn more about the Cold War, something I hardly knew anything about. I graduated from high school a couple years after the Cold War ended.

Right now he is working on a lapbook about the Vietnam War and reading a book that was written by someone who was there. I also got him a book that is geared for kids that gives an overview of the whole war. So far he is enjoying it. It is one thing that he doesn't make faces at when I ask him to work on it.

He also hated the Apologia curriculum. I love it and so did my daughter. I love the biblical aspect of it, no evolution, although we would talk about it because he was exposed to it in school. Right now I am making up a list of science topics and experiments for him to choose from to learn. He has been making containers and parachutes for an egg drop to protect the egg from breaking. Something he wanted to do so I let him work on it all day yesterday.

We hit up the dollar store and bought a bunch of things that he can use to protect his egg. $20.00 later, this is what we got. We did add a few other things, like cotton balls, string and tape, those things we had at home.

Little miss nosy had to check everything out. She has to know everything about everything and everyone.

Here is the first thing he was working on. It's kind of heavy and he was thinking of using helium to make it land softer. He just needs to make something in the tin to protect the egg.

Yesterday was the first time I saw him smiling as he was working on something. Right now he is off to help his Da and uncle move our RV to our campsite for the winter. The joys of homeschooling and flexible days.

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