Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I is for Involved~ Blogging through the Alphabet

Thanks for joining me while I blog Through the Alphabet with A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool.

I is for Involved

When planning our homeschool lesson, I've learned to get the kids involved. Without their input, classes and lessons can get tedious and boring for both mom and the kids. There is nothing worse than a kid who hates what they are studying. Mutiny can be close at hand! I know they are not going to enjoy all their lessons, but it helps if they at least enjoy a few of them.

Over the years, I've learned to ask what they'd like to learn about. I think of it as electives. When they were younger, we would do 3 unit studies/lap books over the summer. Therese would pick one topic, Michael would pick another, and I'd pick the 3rd. We spend one month on each topic. This was a great way to keep summer boredom at bay and an even better way to keep the learning going throughout the year. We've learned about butterflies, snakes, dolphins, sharks, dinosaurs, and plenty more.
Now that they are older, I like to see what they enjoy learning about. My goal as a parent and teacher is to keep them interested in learning and to love learning. Both kids have enjoyed studying about our 50 states and birds. These 2 subjects are asked for every year. Different art classes are usually requested too. By allowing them to choose a subject that interests them, they can see if they like a certain subject, see of they'd like to learn more about it, and see if maybe they'd be interested in studying that in the future. I'm already thinking ahead to their college years. If they enjoy what they are doing in college and in their careers, they will be a lot more happier in the long run.

So how do you get them involved?

Ask them if their is topic they want to cover
an animal, a time period in history, a country, a culture

See if there is a skill they want to learn
sewing, woodcarving, jewelry making, wood-burning, photography

A sport they want to learn
soccer, tennis, karate, swimming

A project they want to work on
a science project, create a robot, write a play, train the dog, create a fairy garden

Maybe something adventurous
build a fort, make a tepee, learn to live off the land

Life Skills
cooking, painting their room, mechanic skills

Another area the kids learn and get involved with is our garden. I ask what they want to grow. They need to research when to plant, how to plant, and how to take care of it. This teaches them even more life skills.

I won't lie having the kids involved in their learning isn't always perfect. 
Are their days they dread the topics they chose? 
You bet ya!
I'll admit that the days when our core lessons go badly (they take all day), the electives are the first subjects to get pushed aside. I don't like doing it, but the three R's are essential! 
However,when we have days or weeks when things have been extremely rough, we stop the core subjects and just have some fun with our electives. Some days you just need a break. Choosing electives the kids enjoy allows us to explore and learn while having fun!

Till Next Time,

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  1. Over the years, I've found that if I get my kids' input, homeschooling goes much more smoothly. Great post!

  2. Absolutely! We're at that point where I even ask my boys what books and curriculum materials they'd like to use to cover certain subjects too.

  3. My lad has just had a lot of fun with a cooking class. He's been having a whole lot of fun at it and learning new food ideas. He was delighted to let us eat a cookie with a special ingredient...BROWN BEANS!!! :)


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