What is Homeschooling? Part 3
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Homeschooling is Unique
Each child is an individual with likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and their educational needs are just as unique. Home education allows you to evaluate each child’s interests, abilities and learning styles to create an educational path that works for that individual.
Let’s look at reading and a child’s interests. Instead of expecting every child to read the same books, you can customize each child’s reading list.
Take two children—one girl, one boy. For the girl, you may create a reading list that includes the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, American Girl books and The Secret Garden. For the boy, you may create one that includes Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson and Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. The right book, or books, could be just the ticket for getting a child excited about learning.
And this doesn’t just apply to reading. Just about any subject can be tailored to pique the interest of the child. Take a child who loves the ocean. Science abounds here, but so does history (ships that have sunk or disappeared, discoveries that were made and voyages that were taken) and literature (Island of the Blue Dolphin or The Old Man and the Sea). Or how about a child who loves animals? Why not include this hobby in their studies? In addition to studying animals for science, it also lends to geography and social studies. In addition to studying the animals, children could study the land where they originate and the people who live there. All of this begins with evaluating each child and creating an education path that speaks to them.
Homeschooling also allows each child to move at their own pace. Perhaps one child reads well at an early age, even grade levels ahead of their peers. Instead of holding her back with a class of 20 other students, homeschooling allows her to read at the level that works for her; whereas another child may need extra time to master reading. Instead of labeling her as slow or putting an idea in her head that she isn’t good at it, she’s able to learn at her own speed. As long as the end result is the same, who cares whether it takes extra time? The goal is simply to read.
This applies to more than just reading. How many adults have it in their minds that they are bad at math? Would it have made a difference if they had received extra time to master their math skills? Quite possibly, yes.
Different people learn in different ways. Some learn by sight, some learn by hearing , some learn by feeling and others learn by doing. I would even suggest that some learn best by social interaction, by talking about what they are learning. In homeschooling, students can learn in a style that is memorable and enjoyable to them. And thankfully, because curricula is plentiful, parents can change the curriculum to meet the child right where they are at, in the learning style that is best for them.
Check back next time as we continue answering What is Homeschooling? We’ll look at one of the dynamics that makes homeschooling so effective.
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