One thing Ive learned from the few years as a parent is that though I want to force or push my children into a place of success, I have to learn to meet them where they are to teach them and lead them to where I hope they will end up. I chose to stay home for a while when my daughter was ready for school, because I was going to homeschool her.
It started as a means to begin her education with a program that was bible based and would give us flexibility in our schedules because of our nomad lifestyle. Because my husband is in the military, we were scheduled to move shortly after she was to start her first year in school. This was another part of our reason for homeschooling the first year. As I began with the new curriculum having no experience or knowledge of how to do any of it, we sort of jumped in to learn how to swim. Over the first year it was very unorganized and stressful. We had many trials and errors with methods and manners of how and when she would do her school. I learned through practice how to go through our days and how to teach her. I also figured out after much struggle that I needed to apply what I learned in college about learning styles to her schooling. After many tears and failed attempts to help her, I realized that I was trying to teach her the way I would learn. After testing a few methods to learn where she would learn best, I came to find that I had to teach her on her turf. She was very specifically visual in her learning style and this meant I had to make sure when I was explaining concepts to her I had to draw or give a visual example of something she could see. Then the lights came on.
I know from my own evaluations during college that I am more kinesthetic and I learned best when discussing concepts and hands-on. This did not work with her, and only caused both of us a lot of frustration. Teaching to a child’s learning style is something I felt should be done more often after learning this through trial and error with my 0wn. I only wish they would have done this with me as a child, I would have been so much more productive and successful in learning during school. Now however I know I love research and doing things will help me to understand and learn.
My son is now approaching the school age and I’ve begun teaching him preschool basics and it has been much different. My daughter was so easy to teach at 4 because I was showing here everything through visual means. My son I gather is different in his learning style so I’ll need to test and figure out how he learns best. So far just being a boy has a huge effect on how I think to teach him. Not to mention his strong will and stubborn character has a lot to do with how he’s taught me to teach him. Even as an infant he would show me that I was doing it wrong for him, when I fed him food. He was so much more tentative with everything that we’ve done with him, and I see now I have to be a bit more patient with him when learning new things. I’ve found that he gets into things if they are game oriented much faster and learns very quickly by doing things like myself. Which may turn out to be an easier task for me as guide. I’ve not decided yet if I will homeschool him for the first year, because I believe he’s going to need a little bit more time with me one on one to learn the self control skills that school will expect of him. I feel that is what he needs and that God is telling me its not quite time for me to turn my focus completely to ventures of another nature.
My daughter will be returning to school next year. She homeschooled for 5 years and then went to a private school for 1. We removed her for this year, to try and help her through the emotional roller coaster of adolescence and now my husband and I have both agreed that she needs to be in a class with more accountability now than she used to be which is why she will return to school next year. She is excelling academically and I am so thankful God has allowed me to be a part of helping her to succeed and teaching her the value of hard work in her academics.
I do believe raising them up in the way they should go for me means more than just teaching them morals, and faith, but also in this season meant to teach them to learn primary education and teach me to be a mom that is involved in a way I have never learned a mom can be involved for a season of my own daughters life. I love to listen to broadcasts about parenting from focus on the family and it has helped me especially when I was learning about learning styles and it has helped me also to realize where I was failed as a child and how I can change and rise out of the ashes of my past and become what I want to be rather than a product of my childhood.