Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Teaching my Five Year old is like slaying a dragon. Every single Day.


                    

 Becoming a Homeschool Mom came with a few years of research and consideration. My oldest was in third grade at the time and her school was underfunded. She struggled with comprehension and I struggled with communication between her teachers. Finally I chose to remove her from public school and embark on the journey of Homeschooling. We are now going on almost FOUR YEARS and the time has just flown by!  Now we are approaching the youngest who turned the big five in December. I began teaching him during the day and he took to homeschooling really well. I believe it was because my oldest was homeschooling and he wanted to copy his older sister.  We began each morning with the Pledge of Allegiance and then we went through songs just as I used to do when I was a Daycare teacher. He learned the seasons of the year, months of the year, his ABCS. He then learned his shapes and numbers 1-10 all in his first year of Pre-School with me as his teacher. ( Wow! When I type it all out like that it makes me feel so good!) 





This last  year with the Pandemic I was a bit easy on them both but we still managed to pursue schooling. He began to move to the recognition of sounds with letters and recognizing capital letters and lower cases. Soon before we knew it he was ready to start school regularly like a BIG KID!  And that is when it really hit me. That was when I realized I was not only going to be teaching a 6th/7th Grader but a Prek4/5 year old. HOLY RABIES! The pressure hit me and I got really nervous. Think about it. That is a lot of pressure on one person to make sure these young minds are learning the way they should be and are prepared for life. It was up to me to make sure they both stayed on task every single day. Not only did I need to make sure the home was cleaned and dinner was cooked but I also had to learn to teach my son the fundamentals of reading and math. I became overwhelmed and very insecure. THIS IS NORMAL.  If you are new to homeschooling the first rule of homeschooling you must know is that you will second guess yourself all of the time but that only means you care. You are more than likely already doing an excellent job and you can do this because you care most about these young minds than anyone in the entire world! ( Aside from their other involved parent.)

When my son turned five, he began to become more and more into his own person. His personality has sky rocketed this year and I am learning rather quickly that his learning style is a lot different than his older sister's. She is more of a self learner and doesn't mind just tackling an assignment. Telling her to stay on task is not something I have ever had to worry about with her. 

My son enjoys rewards when he is learning, he gets really excited when he learns something new. It is that joy of his development that makes me want to teach him as long as I am able too. I was using the free homeschooling website allinonehomeschool.com for both of my children for the longest time.  I noticed that he was not as focused with some of the assignments and that he loved to play games more than anything. The oldest also seemed to get a bit bored with some of her work. I switched up our curriculum in the middle of the school year to supplement to their normal schooling. I switched them both to Time4Learning to make sure they were on task to what they should be learning for their age and levels. It also helps me keep their school work organized and graded. This also helps me to transition them to public school should either of them ever truly want to go back to public school. Currently the oldest enjoys this type of learning, she enjoys the teachers and the extra learning that this program gives her. And during her time using this program, it frees up my time to then help my youngest with his school on a more one on one environment. 



Things that I have learned about my Five year old as a student:

  • He must be moving every twenty minutes. Time moving helps him focus better and remove his energy. We call it "Wiggles". We normally start the day off using a fun Math song/workout on Youtube. Once we get that done we can then sit down to focus.
  • HIs attention span is short. Taking breaks is going to be normal but staying consistent in a schedule is best. He knows exactly what is going to happen next and he looks forward to this every day. We spend maybe an hour doing Math and then Language Arts using Time4Learning. We then move on to Mom learning time.
  • During Mom learning time we read a book, we go outside and free play, we play with 3D shapes or a letter game/sight word game ( coming soon, next week), or we watch a documentary on an animal in nature. He enjoys learning about animals and their habitats. I encourage this natural curiosity as much as I am able too. Disney Plus has a ton of Animal Documentaries and shows that are safe for little eyes to see. 
  • We are moving back next week to more book work, using Allinoneeasypeasy.com. This is a free homeschool program that offers workbooks to buy or pintables. We will be practicing his handwriting, and reading more often now that he is getting the hang of schooling every day. 
  • We take a break. Both of my children do well with breaks in between. We go to the park or we go on a field trip to a new place. We enjoy nature or spend a day playing with the sweet children next door. It is very important to allow them to have imaginative play on their own. It is equally important to allow them to learn to play with others and gain friendships. The older my youngest gets the more he is wanting to make friends. This is vital to his cooperation in learning at home. I make a point to take my children out once a week as best as I am able too. 
  • IT is okay to take a break. I am learning sometimes he needs a break. Learning should be fun and it should be encouraged not forced. He will learn either way whether at home or in a school setting. I have told both of my children many times that homeschool only works when the student is willing to learn. They both constantly tell me they enjoy learning at home. The oldest is ready for a public High School experience but the youngest is still openly happy to be homeschooled. I have to meet my students, my children where they are and always listen to them. Always. 
  • Teaching my five year old is like slaying a dragon every single day. There are days he does not want to do his work. He would rather play with his Hotwheels or on Roblox. I totally understand that he may not want to tackle something. Some days I meet him in the middle and he does school work later in the day but this is rare. I simply tell my son that it is time to do his work and then he can play. "Let's take a look at what games are in store for today." " Let's go read a book outside!" "Let's go outside to the school house and play a game."  I usually begin a sentence with "let's" because learning is a joined adventure. It makes him feel included and not isolated. A day in which we can tackle one on one learning reading a book, learning a new skill, or writing a letter is a day that is successful. The feeling of him learning and tackling his school work is the same feeling I would imagine a Knight would have slaying a dragon. His mission is completed. But there are so many more dragons to come. That is how we look at school here at our home. Every day has dragons to slay, but each day is a new adventure. School only works at home when each day is a fun learning experience. Especially when the child is young and requires more attention.



You know your child. No one else can tell you how to teach your child but you. IF you have chosen to Homeschool your child, take the time to see how your child learns. Not every child learns in front of a screen or in a book. Some children require both. Some require learning in a book, screen, and outside. Some require Art while others require quiet solitude. As long as you know your child, you can teach them all the things they will need to know to succeed. 

I am so happy both of my children are smart and imaginative. Every day I feel we slay dragons together. I hope when they grow older and become adults that they know they can always come to me. I will always be here to help them slay dragons. I will always be here to encourage them to look for the magic in every moment with an open mind and an open heart.


Thanks for sharing your time with me today. I can't wait to write more about our Homeschool Magic. 


p.s. Excuse any run on sentences, comma placement, and errors. I will edit this evening!

xoxox, 
Amanda The Book Witch

1 comment:

  1. So encouraging, Mama! Great job listening to what you both need!

    ReplyDelete