Tuesday, August 21

Homeschooling... or not!

So, I'm not entering the homeschool debate or anything, and this online community is pretty open, but seriously... some people are not teachers... at least not of reading, writing and arithmetic! I am one of those people. I'm so thankful for the grace I've found among my bloggy friends... many of them homeschoolers!

and I do know, however, that I am called to instruct my children in spiritual matters and I do my best. Especially when they are teaching me patience and I am trying to teach them patience...

But the ins and outs of teaching, I've got nothing... no ideas, no creativity, no wisdom on how to connect the dots in learning!

Seriously, it took me a WHOLE DAY to figure out that pennies
would help my 7YO figure out math problems.

We have been blessed with a local Christian school with WONDERFUL teachers that handle the reading, writing and arithmetic, while at the same time reinforcing what my kids are learning at home spiritually. (this is only possible through many scholarships and the help of others)

but back to my total LACK of skills in education...  My daughter received a summer packet of math, reading and writing sheets to work on through out the summer. The suggestion was to work on it a little bit each week... not getting it all done within the first week.  She did work on it the first week and has done some of it occasionally through out the summer, but school starts in two weeks and she realized she has a lot of papers to complete.

She is SMART and a voracious reader, reading way above her grade level. But math, not exactly a favorite of hers.  So each question (simple addition) was a challenge, and I didn't want to just give her the answers, but I didn't know how to help her work through it. Until, in a burst of inspiration, I thought of pennies. And I found a handful of them and we started counting and counting! And separating piles and counting some more.

And finally, we finished the worksheet with no more tears!!  Now I don't know if that will help her in the long run, and I know math is a lot of memorizing, but it go us through one day and one worksheet and that works for me!!

So, I just have to know... How do your kids learn the basics??!?!


  1. with pennies or m&m's (get to eat after they are done)sometimes kid's need to visulize what they are doing and will than memorize as they see it. cathy

  2. Any small objects like that... buttons, Cheerios (subtraction! lol) work very well as manipulatives for math. Another thing you might want to get, and it's totally free (and if you're okay with video games) is a program called TimezAttack. They have four programs now, for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, in one free download. The website is bigbrainz.com. My kids love this program! Also for spelling practice with a lot of fun games, there is spellingcity.com. We rely a lot on technology for practicing the basics. And yes we homeschool. :)

    1. We use Mathboard and Spellboard for the iPad (when I remember) but I will have to check out these programs! Thanks for the input! Technology certainly has changed things! :)

  3. Teach her how to draw a number line on the paper and then she can use that to add or subtract. Put her pencil on the first number in the problem. Then for addition she counts forward the second number in the problem or for subtraction she counts backwards. Does that make sense? Hard to explain without pencil and paper!

    1. I had to read your comment twice, but I think I got it this time... thanks for the input! This particular sheet was hard because it was 5 + __ = 12

  4. Oh, I hear ya on the not being creative enough to teach the ins and outs...yet, I've wondered, if we did home school here, if that would come as we began to dig in, study curriculum, and actually live the ins and outs...hmmm. Good topic for pondering! But you are very blessed to have the Christian, private school for your children. That sounds like a perfect fit for you. And that's a good place to be!

    1. Theresa, I am absolutely NOT creative, a good planner, or even actually interested in being a 'teacher'. However, in the spring of 2011 the Lord started to tug on me about homeschooling. My reasoning was more about bringing my 2nd daughter out of an environment that I felt I could 'lose her to the world' in....not about the academics. I NEVER saw myself as a homeschooler. When we decided to pull my 2nd daughter, my oldest made the decision herself to stay home and my, then preschooler, wanted to stay home for kindergarten.

      In about a week, we will start our second year of homeschooling. I am growing to love it, though it's not easy. For me, curriculum is KEY! I am not a 'lesson planner' and I'm not crafty or creative at.all.

      I'm not pushing homeschool because I know it's not for everyone. I certainly never saw myself here. However, it is possible, even when you absolutely dead set against it (which I was).

      Julie Anne....I am THAT mom that would never think of pennies to teach addition or subtraction...lol

      Last year, I taught my 5yo to read. I don't know how it even happened.

      My point in all this rambling is that if you are called to do it, you will be equipped (I found this blog by reading her comment on your blog post about schooling :). My kids don't get any special projects (unless they do them themselves), and someone else plans our field trips, science experiments just don't happen here. My idea of a good day is to just get 'school' done so we can have 'real life learning'. My kids love the out doors and I just encourage them to BE CHILDREN...and play.

      I don't know if this helps anything, and I have frequent thoughts about 'real school' for my kids....but for right now, I feel that being home is the best place for us. I pray you have peace in whatever you decide :)


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