What Homeschool Subjects to Teach and When to Teach Them?
In one of our co-ops, the kids learned to sing Greensleeves.
Once they learned the words and melody it was the most beautiful and soothing sound to hear them sing again and again. I feel your homeschooling day can be the same way when each subject complements the other.
An important point to keep in mind regarding the skill subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic is that just because your child is doing well now does not mean he has mastered that skill.
HOMESCHOOL TWO STEP DANCE
Learning takes place in a three steps forward, take two back ritual.
That is why we wonder sometimes what happened to them when they had “it” once, but now forgot it.
Information needs to be introduced at one time, but later it becomes mastered or it becomes part of their learning cycle.
Like an orchestra or singing Greensleeves, it required several rehearsals.
Each time, we focused on different parts of the songs or music until it was finely tuned. Your subjects need to be the same way.
So do not be so quick to discontinue phonics early. Even if your child is a good reader, keep on with phonics until the 4th grade or even 5th grade. Phonics is more than just about reading, it’s about spelling too.
Knowing basic letter sounds is just touching the fringe of learning phonics. It includes learning how to change endings on words. Changing the ending on a word, for example, like “act” to “actor” changes the meaning completely.
As mentioned, phonics is about spelling too and not just reading. It involves the connection between letters and their spelling. Continuing spelling until 8th grade can be sufficient for most children, however, if your child is still struggling continue through to high school. I have now stopped teaching my oldest son spelling however I do hold him accountable for each word he writes. In this way, he can focus on the words that may still give him problems.
Math is one of those subjects that I feel should continue all the way through highschool and not stop in the first two years of high school. Why? Math is a subject that is so logical. I certainly did not feel that way in the beginning because math was not my strong subject.
However, much like learning a foreign language with a code and set of rules, you can begin to understand the language. The logic and thinking skills that a student acquires in the study of math can serve him lifetime regardless of whether he goes to college or not.
Grammar is a tool to use for composition, but I have always been of the mind set that emphasis should be placed first on writing instead of grammar. Grammar has taken a back seat in my journey, starting formally in 3rd grade for us.
Of course, basic grammar has always been applied early on but applied more formally when my sons are composing.
Composition cannot be enjoyed unless attention is given to penmanship early on and first. What child can enjoy composing beautiful thoughts or silly ones if just holding a pencil or pen causes discomfort?
Many children have needs that need to be addressed regarding fine motor skill, however, many do not. It simply has been a lack of sticking to some kind of writing daily or fun activities to strengthen those fine motor skills.
Daily, if you will give attention to penmanship with tiny baby steps, your child will be well above others for the simple fact he can compose more than one well written paragraph.
History, science, Bible, field trips, game playing and co-ops are at the heart of any enriching program.
Science is not about vocabulary words but out hands on experiments, questioning and investigation.
History is not about dead people, but about the way they lived. What they inspired others to do.
Can you make it come alive by attending reenactments, doing a lapbook, cooking recipes of that time period and wearing costumes. We do and please hear me, I am NOT the crafty mom. But I know that passion on a subject, starts from a spark of interest.
How to Fit It All In a Homeschool Day?
The Bible is a subject that is just part of our daily life but some do include it as a formal subject.
The last tip I want to share is WHEN to do all of this.
IF you school year around, then you can divide up your year into two big chunks of learning.
Along about January, I switch out subjects. I may start one subject in summer and end at this time of the year around November or December just in time to start another one in January.
That is another tool we have in homeschooling – flexibility. Be sure to use it. If you need to stop and not do one subject like history, science or geography for a few months to concentrate on another, do that.
Then by the end of your year, you will have introduced or mastered more areas or subjects.
Have your child taste all the subjects and do not become lopsided even if you feel you like one more than another.
We all like one or more subjects than another, but the point is we want a well rounded out harmonious sound at the end of our homeschooling journey.
Do you have a starting point for knowing which homeschool subjects to cover and when?
Did you miss the other two posts?
- What Homeschool Subjects to Teach and When to Teach Them? Part 2 of 3
- What Homeschool Subjects to Teach and When to Teach Them? Part 1 of 3
Hugs to you today,