My thoughts on homeschooling – one year into our journey…

Our journey has not been one that I anticipated but it certainly has been a worthwhile one thus far.  Homeschooling has truly been an enriching experience for our family.  We are more aware of the natural world around us and a daily ‘read-aloud’ by Mum is now the norm. We have become more selective in our choice of reading material.  We are simply embracing the joy of learning. Gaby’s self esteem has grown, and she is continuing to improve in her handwriting and maths skills.  I have found that cultivating patience in myself goes a long way in motivating a child to try harder.  As in most things in life, this is a work in progress.

I have discovered the web provides an unending source of encouragement from other home school moms, notably from the USA. For example, there is http://www.newbeehomeschooler.com/ , a site run by Tina Robertson and her friend, Kelly Williams; two ladies from Houston, Texas. They run workshops to help new homeschoolers avoid common pitfalls and help make their homeschooling experience a successful one. Their workshops are also available online for international homeschoolers. I highly recommend this site to any new homeschool mum or dad. Their advice is helpful whether you live in America or South Africa.

When we started homeschooling, the choice of curriculum was very important to me as I wanted to give my daughter a broader education than that offered by the schooling system. I spent many hours researching curriculum. What is curriculum though?  Someone else’s idea of textbooks to use to educate your child, perhaps? However, textbooks are necessary although sourcing the ideal books can be a challenge. Advice from other home school moms or teachers can help.. mostly, it is a matter of trial and error, I guess. What is important is that your child meets the criteria for their grade level.. here again, there is expert advice on hand.. which brings up the subject of ‘scope and sequence’.  As a South African home school mum, it is important for some flavour of Africa to appear in our curriculum. This challenge can be tricky but it doesn’t have to. Lapbooking, is an innovative method of teaching almost anything.. lapbooking is a bit like scrapbooking except it is a way of reinforcing learning new concepts to your children. Another important aspect we have found is that regular assessment of your child’s work is essential, in order to improve on weak areas.

In 2013, homeschooling was a little nerve-racking for me, but having tried out different methods, I feel far more confident this year.  My new year’s resolution is to ‘try’ and blog more regularly about our activities (at least once a month).. here’s hoping..

Keep smiling and ‘bye’ for now..

Gaby baking scones

Gaby baking scones

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