March 20, 2009

Homeschooling: Allowing Children the Time to Explore

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The greatest thing in our opinion about homeschooling is tailoring your program to meet your child's needs. And, if they are old enough, letting them tailor their own program. Because the children don't spend hours in instruction, they are able to get work done more quickly. This leaves time for extra-curricular activities.

My oldest daughter spends time teaching herself to play the piano. I have never pushed her; I have never had to. In fact, instead, I often have to remind her to get back to her Logic or Biology instead of spending hours practicing piano. She also has time to be involved in our local homeschool intermediate band. She has an affinity for tech, and can use just about anything out there, or she will teach herself to do so. Again, if she was in high school somewhere, she would come home with hours and hours of homework, with no time for anything else.

My son is learning to play the drums, and is keen on computers. His newest interest is stop-motion animation and we are researching programs to allow him to do this. We need a video camera, which is also on the list. If my son was in school, he wouldn't have time to spend exploring these interests, he would be too busy getting required homework done.

The youngest child is currently enamoured with the Photo Booth program that is on our Mac. She will spend hours posing, taking pictures, adding effects. Why do I let her do this? She is becoming familiar with technology! As she gets older, we will get her a digital camera, and she can transfer those skills. to photography. And her sister today started teaching her to use Photoshop Elements. How many 7 year olds do you know who can use photo-editing software? Mine has time to explore these interests.

Trust your children, and give them time to follow their interests. They are all valuable. You never know where they will lead.

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