Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I Think I've Figured It Out

School has been a nightmare around here lately.

When you homeschool your children, the entire burden of their education generally falls upon you. In most homeschool families, the father's contribution tends to be limited to providing financial support, encouragement, and discipline. Some families have worked it out so that fathers teach one or two subjects that they may be particularly strong in, but that is probably the exception since most homeschooling dads need to work longer hours to support the family on just one income.

And thus it falls to the mother.

I think I've done pretty well by kids. When testing comes around annually, they've always performed well-above grade level. They manage to hold their own in conversations with other kids. They are both excellent readers.

And yet each day for the past few months, I've been ready to jump in front of a bus by the time we finish up our schoolwork.

I've needed to re-set each and every one of their Science quizzes because they've failed them the first time. I go from one to the other and back again the entire time we are working. I ask questions about what they've studied and get blank looks in return.

I have not taught them how to study.

I've never made them "cram" for a test. Or do extra homework-type assignments once our day is finished. I've never taught them how to take notes. Or how to form questions to ask while they're reading.

I guess I just assumed that these skills would come naturally. I don't know why I would think that - now that I've been thinking about it, I realize that they are skills I was taught in school. But somehow I just never thought about it.

So for the remainder of this week, we will be doing a minimum of what is actually on our schedule to do school-wise, and focus on learning these study skills.

And hopefully I won't be seeking out any buses after that.


Amy said...

Hang in there girl. YOU CAN DO IT!
Just pray each morning and get yourself ready. Your plan of doing the basics and then spending time teaching them how to learn/study is a great idea. Keep up the great work.

ValleyGirl said...

Isn't it amazing what knowledge we take for granted?! I would've assumed, too, that study skills were natural -- something you develop as you learn -- but now that you mention it, I had to take a mandatory class in freshman year called exactly that: STUDY SKILLS. Good idea, planning to focus on that for a while.

Tracy said...

You know I never thought about having to "teach" a child to study. But you are right it is something that is taught. My boys take a science class outside of the home on Friday's they often have tests they have to study for. If they didn't have that class I'm not sure they would know how to study also. They've had to learn to take the tests in that class. Good point you made. Hopefully your kids pick it up quickly so you can stay on track for the rest of the school year. Sounds like their very bright kids and should not have a problem with it.

Kathy in WA said...

Oh, Girlfriend, I am right there with you. I am often weighted down by the responsibilities and pressures of homeschooling. As much as I love teaching my children and having them home with me, I am continually worried about what I'm NOT teaching them. Areas where we are failing or missing altogether.

Glad you're sharing! Can't wait to hear how it goes. Post again.

Duckabush Blog

stacey said...

good choice! kids really do need study skills and you will probably find different ones work for each child.


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