Every week I’m going to take notes about all the stuff I’ve learned while homeschooling.
Caleb started complaining to the point of tears about doing bible study. I was having him read the entire chapter himself, then I would read the questions and reread the chapter and then have him answer the questions. So, I tried a different approach. First we read the questions together, then I read the chapter and paused after I had read a section that answered one of the questions.
I was basically spoon-feeding him the answers. But then he started to like it and stopped complaining (so much). I figure this is just fine because he can work his way up to working more independently.
Sometimes less rules are better
I have Caleb write in his journal every school day. I had been telling him to write at least three sentences, which I thought would be easy enough to understand. But he really fought me about it. So I told him to write as much or as little as he wanted. I was a little worried he would write just a few words and be done, but he actually wrote this over two days:
This is what he wrote the day before when I implemented my three sentence rule:
Creative alternatives to doing schoolwork
Caleb is a great kid. He is funny, thoughtful, and affectionate. But he is also bossy and stubborn to the point of disrespect. I learned this week that presenting an alternative like pulling weeds or scrubbing mud off the house’s exterior was a great way to help motivate him to do his schoolwork without all the dramatics.
I don’t feel good about having to do this to get him to do his work, but I hope it’s just part of our process for learning to work with each other.
It shouldn’t always be “My way or the highway”
I do appreciate the fact that there will be things Caleb must learn despite not wanting to, but I don’t believe I should have to force him to do everything. My ultimate goal is to make learning enjoyable to the point where he won’t fight with me about everything. I’m reading John Holt’s Teach Your Own right now. I’m interested in incorporating some unschooling ideas into my teaching methods. I think it will be a good way for me to be more conscientious about how Caleb learns and what actually interests him.
Get out of the house!!!
The idea of unschooling has made me realize that I should not use field trips or fun things as a reward for doing schoolwork. Maybe this is a good idea in part, but I we all need to get out of the house. And we weren’t going anywhere because it was taking Caleb ALL DAY to get everything done and that left no time to do to the library or the gym or even for a walk. But after I thought about the idea of using life as a learning tool and motivator, I realized that I’m creating a very unpleasant environment, for everyone.
Yesterday, Caleb had accomplished one thing (journal writing) by lunch time. And instead of worrying about how we needed to skip our trip to the library and park in order to get the rest of his work done, I didn’t worry about it. And we went to the library and the park.
We had a great time and when we got home Caleb did all of his work without (much) complaint.
I continue to be amazed at how much learning *I* have to do in order to be an awesome homeschool teacher.