Monday, August 30, 2010

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Oftentimes, teaching your child simply means taking advantage of learning opportunities. For instance, this past week, during a writing lesson, my daughter suddenly asked me if I could teach her to write the way I do.

I was confused at first, but then she went on to explain how she wanted to write “with loops.” After a moment, I realized she was talking about writing in cursive.

Now, beginning cursive is actually scheduled into our curriculum, but it doesn’t start until halfway through the year. However, since her curiosity was piqued, I pulled out a handwriting practice book that I bought last month. I had no idea it would come in handy so soon! She immediately dove in and was over the moon that she was getting the chance to learn something that, in her mind, only adults knew. She has pursued this with wild delight. I have promised to incorporate it into our lessons, and in return, she has promised to continue working hard at the subjects that don’t quite excite her as much.

So the point is that sometimes it is important for us to let our children lead the way. Our role is to encourage and guide them, providing them with the materials and time to explore new horizons. So if this week your son or daughter suddenly proclaims an interest in multiplication or gravity, woodcarving or the island of Cuba – go for it! Even if they only learn just a little bit about the subject, it still paves the way for future lessons.

While using a curriculum can be incredibly helpful for families who homeschool, I think we need to remember not to let one rule over us. A curriculum is simply a tool for us to use, but one that is under our control and changing it around or incorporating other lessons should be encouraged if it benefits our child's learning. Let’s try and remember that the goal is not how much they remember, but rather developing their curiosity and their enjoyment of learning. Don't be afraid to venture "outside the lines."

Con mucho cariño…


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