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Penmanship can be seen as a follow-the-bouncing-ball mindless activity where children learn the basic strokes of the alphabet. You demonstrate how to make the smalls and caps of the letter “a,” for example. Show kids the method to write the letters and give practice drills so they will get it right. Penmanship, in this manner, becomes a copying and busywork lesson. But as an inner-city elementary school teacher, I created something a little different.
While education necessarily involves the acquisition of knowledge, most homeschool parents would agree that the development of character is at least as important. In recent days, public school educators are finding this to be true as well. The quality of perseverance or “grit,” in particular, has been widely discussed, and a recent study indicates that this quality may impact student success more than even intelligence.
No one needs research evidence to convince him that murder is bad for people. And why does anyone need research to show her that loving parental involvement in a child’s life is good for his education?
Most Christian parents homeschool because they know that parent-led home-based discipleship is biblically normative. It is good for children, by God’s design. It is good thing, a right thing. But many find it comforting to know what the research shows. So, what does research tell us?...
If you are the type of person who could tear open a bag of M&Ms® and just eat the candies as they tumble out, you may not be able to relate to the color coding of our homeschool chaos. However, if you, like me, carefully tear open that candy bag and take a minute to sort candies according to color, you may want to consider using color codes in your homeschool.
Fractions say, “I have an equivalent.”
Fractions say, “Look at my denominator before you add.”
Fractions say, “Look at my denominator before you subtract.”
Fractions say, “Multiply numerator times numerator and denominator times denominator, in order to multiply.”
Fractions say, “Invert the second term then follow rules for multiplication, if you must divide.”
When you see your child struggling with algebra, you do all you can to ease him into a friendly comfort zone.
Here’s a fundamental truth about the universe: the homeschool parent never has enough time. Adding the obligations of a classroom teacher to the obligations of a spouse, a parent, a friend, a neighbor and an employee is a crazy idea, and if your decision to attempt this feat in the coming year fills you with fear and trepidation, you are not alone.
There is a solution, however, that effective homeschool teachers rely on every year. In fact, I encourage everyone to try it.