3 Steps to a Better Homeschool
March 6, 2021
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
3 Steps to a better homeschool. They all start with 'R' and you can start any of them today! These 3 points have given me the most success in the classroom and now at home with my own kids. They are, in short, real, record, and review!
Let's get into it!
Why do you homeschool?
For a lot of us, it is because we striving to live a more genuine life with our family. So why do we use a boring workbook to teach? Is that real? Genuine? A couple ways I try to make our homeschool applicable to real life is through word problems and projects based learning. If you can plant 16 carrots per square foot and we want to plant 40 square feet of carrots how many seeds do we need?
That question is a lot more engaging than a simple, 16 x 40 = _.
Reading, writing and solving math problems that are real and useful to your family's business or survival changes pointless worksheets into real life skills.
Projects are another great way to make school work more productive. You need to build a chicken coop? Get your kids involved in the planning, measuring and more. There are lots of expectations in math and science that are covered through building.
The funniest meme I saw recently was at the start of the school shut downs in my area, which happened to coincide with 'calving season'.
"Today we are learning, biology, physics, kinesiology, chemistry, and maybe a few new words."
The point of the meme is true. If you are living in the real world, doing real things, you can learn a whole lot.
One thing I was anticipating when I started homeschooling was the end of the infamous, "What did you learn today?" "Nothing."
Unfortunately, I don't know how, but they still say it sometimes and it breaks my heart.
So, when I get discouraged and wonder if they really are learning anything, I look back at what they were doing at the beginning of the year, or the year before.
If I didn't have good records of everything they did, I would have no evidence to prove to myself that, in fact, they are progressing very well.
I keep records of what books they have read, on what dates. Difficult words that they struggled on or that they were able to read on their own.
I give them standardized spelling and math tests monthly and reading tests, 2-3 times a year.
Some of their learning is hard to save, so I take a lot of pictures.
The other way I combat that dreaded response to "What did you learn today?" Is through review. Review is a simple way for people to practice what they learned. These are a few ways I incorporate review into our learning.
At the end of each school day, I ask my kids to tell me what they did in order. Sometimes, I get them to say their favorite part of the day or most challenging. I ask them why they think I taught them that or how they can apply it in real life.
Another thing we have started doing is end of year portfolios. This is a great way to look at everything we learned over the year and a really nice way to keep record of it.
Try applying one of these 'R's' to your homeschool today!
Do you have another tip that starts with 'R'? Leave me a comment.