Yesterday, we talked about being flexible in our homeschools. We need to leave time for God to use us as a family and we need to be adaptable when He calls us to do something other than our normal routines.
Today we are going to discuss balance. Our kids need more than just academics in their everyday learning. They need to have time to play, time to explore the world around them, and time to learn how to be good and productive citizens. We can accomplish this by allowing them plenty of free time to have fun, time to be able to investigate their homes, yards, and parks, and time to socialize with others. They need to be able to get along with other children and they need to be able to speak well with adults.
When I first began homeschooling, it was all about the books. We had to get through every single book I had bought for that year. It made for some frustrated kids and one frustrated mama. We didn't enjoy school. It was a chore. After years of experimenting with different methods of homeschooling, I believe we have finally found one that suits us. We use the school at home method with just a little bit of the eclectic method. We do use books for 80% of our schooling, but we also enjoy reading books from the library for reading time, doing fun crafts, and doing many hands on activities for history and science.
I think balance comes when we figure out what is best for our families. It may not look like our other homeschooling friends. It may look a bit strange to outsiders. It may even make our families question us, but we have to do what is best for our children not others' children or family members. We know our kids better than anyone else. We see how they respond to our teaching. We watch their eyes light up when they learn something new. We know if something isn't working for them like a certain workbook or textbook. WE KNOW BECAUSE THEY ARE OUR CHILDREN! God gave them to us to teach and train. He also equips us to be their parent. With His guidance, we can accomplish what He wants us to do.
I also want to address when we should allow our children to do seatwork on their own. I think they show signs of wanting to be independent around the age of 10. They don't want mom or dad looking over their shoulders every minute. As long as you are checking over their work on a daily basis and teaching any new concepts, I don't see why they can't work independently. If you see they are not yet able to work without being watched, explain to them they need to earn independence by working without being distracted. They need to be done in an allotted time, and not run around playing when they should be doing their schoolwork.
~ Titus 2:6-7
In order to keep a good record of our assignments, we use assignment sheets on a weekly basis. On Monday mornings, we write out what we hope to finish by the end of the week. We use these as a guideline for our daily routine. Our kiddos love fun ones to use so I decided to make some with different themes. I have made a PDF of these for you to download and print the ones your kids like. To download these assignment sheets, just click on the link below the image.