Monday, December 12, 2011

School at Home without a Lesson Plan

I love the image of old schoolhouses in early American History. There were many brilliant teachers who did an outstanding job educating our children, using such great books as the McGuffey Readers.

Yet, in most of our homes, copying the method of those historic schools just isn't reality. We are home with our families and have children of all ages, or perhaps only one child.  We have chores and responsibilities that take up most of our time.  It would be impractical for me to run a little school at home.

Ma Ingalls was a teacher before she married.  She owned the hardcover schoolbooks her own children needed.  In times of isolation, and when there were no schools, she took on the task of teaching her children with those classic books. She managed to fit this in around chores, caring for the house, husband and children. She made it a gentle part of their lives.

I have been a homeschooling teacher for more than 2 decades. I have graduated children and am currently homeschooling only one child - a teenage boy with learning disabilities.  I have given up on traditional methods of home education and am taking a slower approach. There is no rush for this child to graduate. He is on the road of life-long learning.

I teach without a lesson plan.

Instead, I take his stack of books and he works through most of them on his own. I help him with some of the subjects and correct his work.

I don't judge his progress by how many pages he finished, or which subjects he covered. I judge his progress on the improvement of skills and an increased knowledge.

At the end of each day, I take my Class Lesson Planner, and write down what he did, not what he was supposed to do. I use the book in my own way, not necessarily the way it was intended. And it works wonders for us.    I write down notes about his achievements and his struggles. It is like a short diary of his education.  It gives us a visual record of what he has accomplished.

Each Mother/ Teacher must find her own way of educating her children. There is no set rule.  Making it as pleasant and stress-free as possible is something we must always strive for.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

When Mother Settles Down - A Cozy Morning at The White House.

Do I do Enough? - What I Learned from My Husband's Weariness.

A Precious Memory of - The Mailbox in the House.

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LeAnn said...

I enjoyed reading about your home schooling with your son. My daugher home schools so I will try to send her a link.
Thanks for an enlightening post and blessings to you!

Cindy @ Fenced in Family said...

This is so encouraging and so true! I especially love the final paragraph about every mother needing to find her own way to educate her children. I truly think that we harm our children and our families when we try to fit them into a mold designed by someone else.

Unknown said...

I recently started doing the same thing with my lesson planner! Sometimes there is this pressure to schedule away our lives into compartments.... and I don't want to give in!