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  • Writer's pictureSakinah Ishmael

Observe Your Children

All home educators go through the phase "Am I doing enough?!", sometimes we continue to revisit this phase throughout our homeschool journey. We look around, seeing what others are doing, and start feeling like we aren’t doing enough, planning enough, children are not learning enough. Use your child as your guide. What is his attitude toward his schoolwork? Does he appear frustrated? Bored? How long does it take her to finish her work? Does it seem too difficult, too easy, or does it provide just enough challenge to keep her engaged?

A daily homeschool schedule consists of planning out what you feel is an appropriate amount of schoolwork for your children each day. If they work diligently and finish early, they'll have earned the extra free time. If they dawdle and it takes them all day, they’re choosing to cut into their free time. There may be times when you can tell that it's taking them longer than usual to complete their work not because they are dawdling, but because they need help understanding a difficult concept. There will also be times when you can tell that they are finishing too quickly because the work is too easy. If you’re a new homeschooling parent, it may be difficult to tell the difference. Don’t stress. Spend some time observing your child. You may have a struggling learner who needs to slow down or a gifted learner who needs a greater challenge. What is too much for one student may not be enough for another, so don’t rely on arbitrary guidelines, such as the curriculum publisher’s schedule or a typical course of study. Those are tools, but they should never be your taskmaster. Don’t fret and worry and panic so much about the future and choices you’ll need to make four years down the road – that you forget to live in the moment. In the here and now with your children.

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