Homeschooling can be a rewarding challenge with frustrating moments for any parent who dares to take on the challenge. To see your child excel in certain areas and grasp a hold of knowledge is a special gift. Homeschoolers recognize that their kids are not all cut from the same cookie cutter. I homeschool my two kids and they are very different in how they study. The oldest child studies in her room with her books and DVD player. She sits at a desk and all her books are neatly stacked and everything is organized. There’s no questioning where this book is or what happened to that paper. She has it all under control as opposed to my youngest.
The youngest thinks that the living room, dining room, kitchen and my office are her domain. Books are spread everywhere from the floor to the kitchen table. She can’t tolerate sitting at a desk and doing school. It’s too confining for her. Instead she’s sitting on her head on the living room floor, sprawled out on the couch, under the kitchen table or wherever her little heart desires. She learns best when she can spread out and have freedom of movement. This can be annoying at times but I have learned that if that is what it takes for her to learn, then so be it.
I usually squirrel myself away in my office or bedroom. The kids know that I’m available to help them with any problems but their main school work is taught on DVD. Some days I wish I had CCTV with surveillance cameras in the living room and their room so that I could see what transpires with their school work when they’re not watching. I know they do it because I grade all their papers but I would love to see just how much attention they are paying to the DVD. I’ve seen these cameras available on the X10 Package Deals web site (they’ve got a lot of wireless X10 camera kits at pretty good discounts, too). I also know that sometimes the oldest doesn’t watch a certain subject on the DVD because she already knows the lesson. She goes ahead and completes the work and turns it in.
Students have a variety of ways to learn and I think the traditional school setting of chair and desk inhibits and possibly hinders that learning process. I know for myself, if I was made to sit in a chair that doesn’t move and is attached to a desk, I’d go crazy. I need movement and my brain functions best when I can multitask. To sit and just listen to a lecture would be meaningless to me because I guarantee you that I will not hear a tenth of what was said. However, give me something else to do as well as listening and I will hear the entire lecture and be able to regurgitate the main points.
Parents, I encourage you to figure out how your child learns best. See if they need music playing while they study or do they need silence. Perhaps they need to stuff their mouths with food while learning or perhaps they just need to be wrapped up in a blanket. Whatever it is, figure it out and give your child the freedom he or she needs to learn well.