17 October 2016

Back in the Saddle

Another new year is underway. I can't believe this is the beginning of our tenth year of homeschooling. That's right. TENTH!!! Where have the years gone???

K is in 8th grade, but working on her first few high school credits this year, including a half credit in Spanish! I'm so proud of her. It's like something clicked in her when the words "high school" were muttered, and she does so much more without me having to constantly remind her.

H is really coming out of her shell this year. She's taking a performance-heavy load of classes at our co-op, including worship dance, hand bell choir, and choir. She really seems to be enjoying them all, too. She's come a long way from the girl who picked gymnastics over dance because gymnastics didn't have a recital!

And then there's the little guy. J is beginning kindergarten. In addition, he's taking tae kwon do, a science class called Growing Up Wild, a music and movement class, and Lego club. Most weeks he doesn't really want to be dropped off, but he's getting better at it all the time.

 I really can't wait to see what the year brings in terms of development for all three of them!

31 May 2016

Strengths and Weaknesses

I'm always talking to people about teaching children to their strengths. Learning styles are so important to me, and I'm always striving to find what works for the students I'm teaching, whether they're mine or someone else's. No child left behind - in working form! 

But the thing that doesn't get talked about as much are the PARENTS' strengths and weaknesses. I've read about how it's just as important as a teacher to know your learning style and your strengths as it is to know those of the students.

Well, for my first Truthful Tuesday, I'm here to confess that I'm well aware of my strengths and weaknesses. And they are not all strengths, I assure you!

I am a planner. I love everything planning! My husband always tells me how I like to plan to do things, just not do them. And there is certainly a whole lotta truth in those words! I am constantly planning how I want to organize my school stuff! See Exhibit A:

I will also admit that on warm, humid, sunny days I would MUCH rather be working on the OUTSIDE of the house than the INSIDE of the house. See Exhibit B:

As far as my learning style goes, I see some traits that are similar to each of the girls. I Iike to read and watch videos and take notes. I use colors on my notes because my memory is visual. I talk to myself when trying to understand a difficult concept because saying it and hearing it helps me to get it. Sometimes having music in the background helps or I like to bounce ideas and facts off other people. Sometimes, you need to leave me alone so I can concentrate. 

Fortunately, my malleable, moldable kids have proven to me time and again that they are totally fine learning in an environment with less organization and more outdoors. The differences and similarities in our personal learning styles and strengths and weaknesses have not created too much of a hindrance. 

The girls and I just went for a walk tonight, which ended up turning into some science education about ants and chimps and research as a career. 

So while my learning style and my strengths and my weaknesses might be different than those of my children, I've become quite proficient at making it work so everyone is happy. And after all, knowing is half the battle.