Yes, that’s right, we are accidental homeschoolers, you can read about it here: Why We Homeschool Our Boys.
So after being thrown into homeschooling, we just did school. I already knew what M1 was learning at school because the teacher had sent home his work with notes on problem areas so we worked on that.
I had a math workbook that I knew the teacher approved of so we used that for our curriculum as I researched other options. I knew they were doing a lot of reading and then writing about what they had learned. I would later discover this was called narration which I’ll go into more detail later.
I’d pick out library books for us to read and then have my 1st grader draw pictures and write a couple sentences about it. It was definitely a school at home approach.
We spent the entire 2nd grade going through Usborne’s Prehistoric World since he
loved loves dinosaurs.
I had read plenty of books about learning styles but I didn’t bother to self evaluate since we had already gotten into a groove with our schooling. When I purchased our first math curriculum, Math-U-See, I just saw it as a great hands on program. I didn’t really think of why it would work for my son.
We then started having problems with our math and he was more reluctant to do his work. We were answering all of his questions on the white board and I was always there with him working through it together.
When I’d write out the questions, he’d say, why are we doing this again. I did not realize that my son would get bored of working on one topic for the entire year.
This was when I started looking into learning styles. I would be explaining a new concept to M1 and I could see that he didn’t get what I was saying no matter how many times I told him.
My two favorite books are Right brained children in a left brained world (Freed) and Upside down brilliance: The visual spatial child (Silverman). Silverman’s book was an essential textbook about my son.
I found out so much about him and discovered what I was doing wrong. I needed to draw things out, I needed to solve the questions first for him to SEE how they were supposed to be answered rather than just telling him.
It made such a world of difference for our homeschool. I was teaching him the way that I liked to learn using an auditory style while he was a visual learner. How crazy is that?
I finally decided that I had to implement what I was reading about in all those books.
My favorite book for learning styles is The Way They Learn.
I’ll go more into how we go about find the best curriculum, you have so many choices now it can get overwhelming.
My second son was easy peasy to figure out because he’s just like me. He’s an auditory learner, he likes workbooks, math and science. He’s mini me. Sure, it may seem like I’ve figured it all out but this is only the beginning.
You’ve selected the perfect curriculum for your boy and have these grand dreams of them sitting at the table completing their work diligently. Boy was I wrong.
Check out my other posts as part of this 31 day series.