Diana's Homeschool Blog

Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

Pondering Our Priorities

Pondering our Priorities in homeschooling

When we consider how—or if—we are going to accomplish all the things on our to-do list (especially as we consider the upcoming school year), we need to ponder our priorities.

Here are four steps to help you:

Step One.

Ask yourself these critical—though often overlooked—questions:

      • What opportunities should my children not miss? Why?
      • How do I give them childhood memories that will enrich their lives?
      • When should we stick to our books and when should we play in the sunshine?
      • Where does our schedule allow for creativity, imagination, and exploration?

To ponder these questions means you take time to consider the big picture. Here are five big picture points:

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Number Smart — Math/Logical Intelligence

Number Smart — Math/Logical Intelligence

Do you thrill to the elegant precision of mathematical formulas? Do you love to do calculations in your head? Do you enjoy reconciling your bank account? If so, you are strong in the Math-Logical intelligence—you are Number Smart!

Schools tend to recognize and reward just two ways of being smart—Word Smart and Number Smart. If you’re good at numbers, you probably excelled at math and science. And, quite possibly for you, logic is a delight!  The important STEM subjects—Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics—are right up your alley. Here is a brief excerpt from my book, Reaping the Harvest:

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Too Much, Too Soon

Are you feeling pressured about how much your kids "should" be doing in homeschooling? Has the hunger to learn been replaced by resistance to school? What happens when we see it from their eyes? Another episode in my Homeschool 101 videos.

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Break Down Each Step of Learning

In 2004, homeschoolers in Rotorua, New Zealand, joined us for an evening of dialogue about parents teaching children at home. It was a precious time, particularly poignant for me because it was being hosted by a Maori family.  The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, with a somewhat similar history to Native Americans in America or First Nations people in Canada, and to have many Maori families at this gathering was a significant indicator of how homeschooling was gaining acceptance—despite the cultural challenges —among the native people.

One of the questions posed to me during our Q & A was that of teaching writing—especially of the incredible frustration on the part of many younger students (which translated into incredible frustration for their parents!). As I was trying to gather my travel-weary wits, a Maori father began to share marvelous wisdom that I would like to share with you.

He spoke to us all about the many steps which must simultaneously be taken in order to write something:

      • handwriting, or penmanship;
      • spelling;
      • sentence construction, or grammar;
      • adequate and accurate use of vocabulary;
      • concepts and ideas to be expressed;
      • logical flow of ideas;
      • and more.
      • As adults, if there is something to write, we simply write it. We don't struggle over penmanship, spelling, sentence construction. or vocabulary. We spend most of our time on the concepts and logic. However, it's not the same at all for younger students who are just beginning the journey of communicating through the written word. For them, it's a massive, glacier-covered mountain with formidable ice-fields and no visible paths.

So, as parents with children who need to learn to write, what do we do?

helping hand This incredibly wise and thoughtful father suggested that we break down the steps for our children. Where is it that they are finding the insurmountable obstacle? Is it in penmanship? Spelling? Grammar? Vocabulary? Idea? Logic? At which point along the way are they being overwhelmed? If we can break down each of the steps, walking them through one by one, it will soon become evident where the difficulties lie, and we can gently provide help—coming alongside lovingly and kindly—until they have the needed skills for that point.

It's not a quick fix. It doesn't work if you are frustrated and angry. It will not happen if you are pressured by the goals set by someone else who does not know your child and their unique situation.

But, if you can patiently break down the task, helping them little by little to acquire the necessary dexterity for writing, they will eventually climb that mountain!

Thanks,

Diana

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