What's the big deal about Young Living

The Beauty of Homeschooling

One of the things I love about homeschooling our children is that we can go at our own pace.

If a 4th grader needs extra practice with basic spelling skills that other kids her age have already mastered, (and she does) we spend all the time we need on it. No special testing, special diagnoses, or special classes. We implement tactile spelling practice with shaving cream, do extra practice with basic words, prefixes, and suffixes, and allow for growth at her own pace without pressuring her to keep up with the rest of the class.

Conversely, if a child is soaring ahead of her “grade level”, we don’t feel constrained to keep a slow and steady pace if it is unnecessary.

The below video is a good example of allowing children to go at their own pace. My kindergartener came to me recently to excitedly tell me that she knew how many kitten bits “Birdie” eats in a day if Madison feeds her 12 pellets, 6 times each day.

I was stunned when she explained to me how she figured it out! She demonstrates below. (Email readers may need to click through to see the video.)

When I taught in the public schools, each year I would have very precocious students who could have gone far ahead of the rest of the class, but there was no possible way I could tailor a schedule and curriculum for each student in my class. I spent much of each day conducting crowd control anyway, which involved keeping students in their seats and quiet, so there just wasn’t much time for exploration or independent interests.

With homeschooling, we can skip ahead or lag behind if needed, to suit the child’s needs. With one of my children, I completely skipped first grade math and started her formal schooling with a second grade math book. I remember someone telling me, “You can’t just skip grades like that!”, and if you’ve been reading here long, you probably know that, of course, I didn’t listen.

I knew she, like Reagan in the video, had a firm grasp on basic math skills and did not need useless repetition in those skills.

Homeschooling allows each child to proceed at his or her own pace in each subject.

Zooming ahead in reading and lagging behind in math? No problem. Remedial spelling and above grade level math? Got it covered.

Let your child’s abilities, not the curriculum, tell you how to proceed.

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Comments

  1. Yes. Exactly. [smile]

    ~Luke

    • Hi Luke,

      We met you at the Arlington Homeschool Book Fair a few weeks ago. Getting to put my hands on the Sonlight curriculum and chat with you and another family who is using the Core A curriculum helped me get off the fence and make a homeschool decision we are comfortable with.

      We’ve started Sonlight and my six year old twins are loving it!

      Thanks for all of your guidance and help!

  2. This is one of the big reasons I am pulling my kids from the public school system and starting to homeschool this year. I have one child who is above grade level in all subjects except one, in which he needs extra help, and I realize the school system cannot provide for both those needs.

  3. So very true!!

    My twins are at very different levels with, well…with everything. I love that neither one feels inferior to the other. We can tailor their schooling to their own needs and interests!

    I have a friend who’s son is in public school and has struggled all year as the school “experts” have struggled to find and diagnose his exact learning disability, all the while telling him he’s a complete failure. Ugh…my heart just broke for her and especially for her little boy.

    • Monica- we are homeschooling twins as well (Kindergarten). We are just starting but loving it.

      My twins are both interested in different subjects and one takes his time and is more cautious where the other one is more eager and waiting with baited breath for the next assignment.

      What are your suggestions in a situation when one is waiting on the other to finish. Do you experience that? Do you just ask him to wait for his brother patiently or do you have something, maybe filler work like a color sheet or something, to occupy him. So far I have just been giving him a book to thumb through.

      • Your twins sound a lot like mine!

        One is competitive and a high-achiever. At the end of first grade she is probably reading at a 4-5th grade level. She reads all the time. She gets upset if anything is incorrect and is highly motivated.

        My other one is basically an average student. She’s reading where she should be, but really isn’t highly motivated to do more. She is a lot slower in getting her work done and is easily distracted.

        So, we have experienced one finishing before the other like you described a lot. How I handle it really depends on the work that we’re done and what we have going on. Giving him a book to thumb through is a great idea! You can also have them wait if you’re in the middle of a lesson to teach patience (a great character trait to build up).

        My girls are doing a good bit of independent work now, so sometimes I’ll let the early finisher babysit her baby sister when she’s done…it helps me out a ton! I also alternate doing individual lessons while they doing their independent work, and that has helped out as well. For example, while one is starting on their assignments, I’ll be doing one on one reading, writing and spelling lessons with the other.

        I hope this helps!!

  4. Thank you so much for this. My eldest child is 5 and we are embarking on our official homeschooling journey this fall. I’m a RN, not a teacher, so while I’m excited, I’m also nervous. I love the fact that I can tailor my child’s education to what he/ she is ready for, but at the same time it’s scary to do depart from “grade level” in either direction. I’m hoping we’ll have a great “kindergarten” year that will build our confidence!

  5. We just started homeschooling our six year old twins.

    We’re using Sonlight and I love that each boy can go at their own pace fostering their own strengths and making adjustments where needed.

    Every day they beg me…. “Can we do homeschool today?”.

    Connie, you’re such an inspiration!

  6. Fantastic post. Would appreciate any tips for helping reluctant/weak spellers!!
    Liz

  7. I really like her explanation. While I don’t homeschool my older child does attend a school in which most kids understand and can do basic multiplication and division by the end of Kindergarten. People give me the strangest looks when I mention this. I also get that look when they find out that most of the kids are reading before 5yrs old as well.

  8. Yup. Homeschooling is pretty cool like that. :)

  9. This is among the top reasons that I homeschool. Neither of my older girls have moved at the public school pace – and both have struggled in some area that would have held them back in a public school. And I wouldn’t trade the special relationship that I have with my daughters for anything.

  10. Oh. My. Word. She is too precious! This is one of our big motivations for homeschooling. As a former public school teacher, I know how truly impossible it is for a classroom teacher to truly meet the needs of every student. I look forward to continuing to “individualize instruction” for my own precious boys.

  11. You said it perfectly. This is one of the reasons we homeschool ourselves. My youngest son is a math wizard so we can skip ahead but other subjects he struggles with we can keep after.
    http://www.countrifiedhicks.com

  12. Yep, as we just finished our last year in an accelerated private school, I have made sure to Thank all of our teachers and make sure they know that I don’t think I can do what they do with no teacher degree, I don’t have too I’ll only be teacher two(three later), and I know those two very well in ways a teacher with 18+ kids just can’t. I also just bought two Sonlight programs b+c and F. My husband is nervous about homeschooling and the curriculum gives him a level of comfort that anything I put together on my own just would not accomplish.

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