Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Didn't Work For Us...

I'm linking up with The Homeschool Classroom today to share what resources/curriculum has not worked for us this year. This is our first year getting started and homeschool and for me, I think this whole year was trial and error. I have learned a lot about things that work for us and things that don't quite fit us. It has definitely been a learning experience not only for my son but for me as well. It is exciting and I am looking forward to next year trying some new things even then.

Here are a few things that didn't quite fit us.

1. Online Public School - This is a great option for those who are a little older or who want a very structured plan. I think it works best for older students who need a little more help or want a teacher to assist them along the way.

Why it didn't work for us - My little guy was in Kindergarten this year and while it was a nice idea this was not what I expected or wanted for our homeschool. Honestly, I felt kind of trapped in the curriculum and the way they wanted us to produce it. It was very boring to my son although I did try to help make it easier. The math program was great and we are still doing it but for the rest of it... Not at all what my little mind had dreamed up.

2. Repetitious Handwriting - We tried working with a workbook that had him writing the letters over and over, one letter a day and expanding on what he knew. This might be a good way to start for a younger student.

Why it didn't work for us - He was bored out of his mind. Handwriting is hard to do anyway with a busy five year old boy but this was torture for both of us. It was a fight everyday to write the letters and he would be writing funny symbols before the line was even over. I found he does much better with copywriting or writing something that he thinks of himself.

3. Regimented Schedules - I know this is not a curriculum but this did not work for us. :) I know that many people work on a tight schedule with some flexibility weaved in. That is wonderful. I tried that for us this year too because I felt it was better suited to us. Better suited to me but not my kiddo.  

Why it didn't work for us - I am a planner. REALLY a planner. I must have every detail worked out in my head with about five possible scenarios for which way things will go. While my son does better on a routine, this was not how our homeschool was going to play out. :-) I had dreams of getting up, working till the afternoon with all sorts of fun things and then dinner and bed etc... Now I have realized a five year old can't really stick with things more than 10 minutes or so per item. That is unless they LOVE what they are doing.

So for those subjects like writing, reading and other boring stuff it was a fight at times to do them. I learned not to fight but just listen to his cues more and when he's done, we're done with it. I have become more flexible and open to changing things up. You know what? It's not a crisis if we don't get all that reading and writing in in one day. We have tomorrow. It's OK if he wants to read about cheetahs again for the 50th time because every time he learns something new. It's OK if he wants to stay outside exploring the grass and caterpillars a little longer than Mommy had planned. I truly have learned this year that flexibility is a must and regimented schedule goes out the window. That makes our days so much more fun and exciting AND open to learning :)

Stop by and see what other resources didn't quit work for other families but who knows.... They may just work for yours!! :)

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