People have often asked me, “What do you do when you homeschool?” “What is it like teaching more than one child?”
To answer these questions, I decided to put together videos of the kids and I while we homeschool. I took a video of our homeschooling interactions yesterday and then uploaded them. Don’t have grand expectations. 🙂 These are raw, candid and unprofessional, and you will see the kids disrupting each other or not being angelic ALL the time. I left the videos as is so that you can have an idea of how homeschooling happens for us. I hope it will demystify things and help you realize that learning happens naturally (not perfectly) but the kids enjoy the process and move towards completely their goals.
Homeschooling Young Children Part 1 shows me reading with all four kids around me. This time is really for the younger kids, but Elijah, my older son, joins in as well. I am reading to them from a character book called First Virtues for Toddlers by (for the sake of the younger kids), and then from a book called Right Choices by Kenneth Taylor. I also use a book called ABC Bible Verses for Kids and The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, which are both by Kenneth Taylor but you won’t see me reading from these in the video. All of these books work well for children from 0 to 4. They are not text heavy. (The ABC Bible Verses for Kids requires a longer attention span — ages 3 to 7)
In the video, Edan is sitting near me but not right beside me. I don’t make a big deal out of this. To include him in the story time, I ask him questions. He is one of those kids whom, more often than not, prefers to be doing something with his hands while I read.
Don’t stress out if your child doesn’t want to sit on your lap or right beside you while you read. As long as he is within hearing distance, that’s fine. Ask them questions about what you are reading to check for comprehension.
Homeschool Young Children Part 2 shows how I help them as they do their individual work. Edan is working on practicing reading using Sing, Spell, Read, and Write readers for Kindergarten. Elijah is supposed to be working on Language Arts and you will see him getting distracted from time to time and I remind him to keep focused. (He is currently using Alpha Omega Publications lifepacs for Language Arts.) Titus is given a building toy to play with so can stay preoccupied. Tiana is being entertained by the “Ate” or nanny.
Edan gets frustrated while he is reading some parts but I encourage him by saying, “Let’s see who can read the words first” (There is a list of words that he has to read at the beginning of the book). And I also say, “Let’s take turns reading.” so he doesn’t feel like he has to read the whole book. I’ve tried this technique with him on numerous occasions and eventually, he is willing to read the whole book on his own.
As you may see from the videos, our learning environment is laid back. The kids get to sit on the floor, on a carpet while they learn. I’m not particular about making them sit still at a desk but for some other parents, this is important. It is up to you to set up a learning environment that works for you and our kids. 🙂 I prefer to have close contact with my children — either sitting beside them or near them. I don’t teach from a white board or blackboard.
Part 3 to 5 to follow…