Hey Mama Monday: Tips for Creative Homeschool Negotiation, Mama
My 11-year-old son doesn’t enjoy reading yet and often dislikes writing assignments. We have to get creative, don’t we? And what is it about these kids that makes them want to negotiate over every subject? Yesterday, he asked me if he could replace his science reading for watching a documentary on lions. I said, “Sure, as long as you pause and write down everything you think is interesting.” He was all in. He not only wrote down a whole page of things voluntarily, but he also typed it on the computer for my records. Whew! It worked! Here are some other tips for teaching writing and literature.
Young students who can’t even physically write yet can dictate or narrate back to you what you have read to them. You write or type as they narrate and then show them what they have “written.” They will feel that they accomplished something special!
After they have had some handwriting practice (very different from expressing thoughts) and it is not physically difficult to write, you can have them copy and make their own phonetic “books.” The physical act of writing can progress from there little by little every day until their handwriting becomes proficient.
These are two very different concepts. One is to put words on paper using their own hand (handwriting), and one is to put their thoughts down (writing). Often, both don’t happen at the same time or level. Having them write thoughts and words simultaneously when they are not at the same level can end in frustration.
Literature is probably one of the easiest and most rewarding teaching assignments. Here are some tips:
- The literature we choose should be in agreement with our own Biblical and family values.
- Choose living books (and learn how to recognize a living book).
- Have older children analyze the literature for the worldview that is presented.
- Choose read-alouds geared toward your older children. The younger ones will gain comprehension skills.
- Use online literature lists and audio books with complimentary resources.
Finally, the history and wisdom in the Bible far outweighs any other classic. It is the “literature” of God, and it is what our kids need for life! It is the very basis of keeping your children Home Where They Belong.
Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor and Director of Production here at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She would say she is a very ordinary homeschool mom–with one exception: she has an extra-ordinary God Who provides all she needs for life and homeschooling. She has eight children aged 11 to 29. Deborah’s mission is this: to point other homeschoolers to the Lord in all they do, think, and feel—and to confirm that they, too, can find everything they need for life, godliness–and homeschooling–in their knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3, 4).