I’m not sure when it started, but at some point in the last six weeks, I started asking our girls each day if they are bringing their game to the table today!
I mentioned it to my friend recently when she asked me how I get my kids motivated for school each day. All I know is that whenever I ask this question, the kids work well, and when I don’t ask the question – we seem to have an average work day. We’ve started calling it the ‘golden question’, because we really do feel that we have a good work day when I ask them if they are bringing their game to the table??
I have learned a lot about myself this term. Homeschooling has stretched me (in positive ways) more than I expected it too, and I must tell you that I feel happy in myself – and not just a little bit happy! I feel as though I have achieved something really worthwhile this term with the kids. I see them blossoming, relaxing and achieving. I feel as though I’ve taken the stress of school out of the equation and given them a safe place to learn, and they really are meeting their individual objectives one step at a time.
Last Friday, Chanel did two maths tests and got 100% on both tests. Two weeks ago, I honestly thought these maths tests were going to be too advanced for her – Chanel had a number of melt downs and was convinced she would never understand the mental maths concepts – ironically called mental maths, but no, she bought her game to the tests and did really well!
You should have seen the happy dancing – I wish I captured her dancing on video!
I have been so impressed by how hard the girls work each day. We set our tasks according to our curriculum and plod along to achieve our objectives. The girls really do bring their game to the table. They want to do well, and I don’t have to push and shove them in the mornings to get started for the day.
Not every day is perfect, in fact we have all had a moment of insanity or two, but the objective is learning, and even though moments of insanity happen from time to time – it will always be all about the process of learning. I often think about ‘how’ children learn in the classroom at school, and how frustrating it must be for those who don’t understand the work. How can a teacher of 27 – 30 students engage those who don’t understand, let alone those children who find it difficult to concentrate? All children are different, and all children have their own learning style.
Obviously homeschooling three children is far different that teaching a class of 27-30 children at once. I’ll admit its not easy trying to help, or should I say juggle three kids at once some days when they are all struggling, but I am learning how to help them, and teaching them to help themselves. We have started to really use a number of different resources to help them, as well as me!
I have noticed over the last six weeks that the kids learn better when we don’t force them to learn while they feel frustrated. We change what we are doing. For example, when the kids feel frustrated with their maths, we might work on English for a while and then go back to the maths later on. You can literally see when they are open to learning, and when they are closed to learning. Trying to make a child learn new concepts when they are closed to learning is literally like hitting your head against a brick wall. This is usually when the tears begin to fall. Learning to read the girls has been a learning curve for me to help them in our home schooling adventure.
Sometimes you are only as good as your resources!
I thought I would let you know some of the resources we have been using along side our text books and curriculum in our homeschooling adventure! There are so many really good resources, but these ones are particularly fantastic.
An invaluable resource I recently came across – thanks to the girls teacher, is the multiple intelligences assessment. This website will help you work out your child’s learning style, as well as your teaching style. (http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-assessment).
The 6 + 1 writing traits is a brilliant writing program. The kids are required to do a lot more writing through their homeschooling school, than what they did when they were at school, and this program helps them work to a method. I am quite impressed by the 6 +1 rubic.
Please feel free to look at and use the resources I have linked here. We are finding them invaluable to our daily tasks. The maths online program, study ladder and reading eggs all require a yearly payment, but if you ask your school they may buy the program for their students. Amy often uses khan academy – Its free and brilliant – but also very Americanised. Not that this is a huge problem – but there terminology can be a little different.
There are so many learning resources for our kids. You could go crazy looking for the ‘best resource’ as there are so many really good ones, but at the end of the day you want a simple, easy to use program that helps your kids grasp the concepts. I look for programs and resources that are easy to use, and fun. There’s an online game called Times Attack that my kids don’t love – but boys will love it. It forces children to learn their tables. The only way to kill the rock monster is by quickly answering the times table questions. There is a payment required for this one but you can literally go through 1 to 10 times tables before your asked to pay anything.
Whether your a homeschooling family, or your kids go to a regular school, I’m sure you will find something here to help your children. When it comes to education you always have to ask yourself – Did you bring your game?