Here are some of the things I learned or was reminded of that I hope to implement/include in our homeschool:
- I want to investigate these recommended resources more specifically: The Treasure Tree- by John Trent, Learning Styles- by MD LeFever, Jolly Phonics board books with tactile letters to supplement language, Apologia Sciences.
- Post a pictoral daily routine chart for our younger children... so that they have a visual to help them understand the general flows/patterns/habits of daily life.
- Use dice & dominoes to do early math in a fun way (i.e., add the two dice, subtract the smaller from the larger, multiply, etc.).
- Stop overcorrecting beginning writing! This was a REALLY GOOD POINT for me to hear... the presenter said, "we praise our children's scribbles to high heavens when they begin drawing... and then as soon as they start making genuine effort to write words that look familiar to our eyes, misspelled and misformed, our natural tendency is to rip their work apart by pointing out errors, making corrections, etc. It's OK to find one or two things for them to work on, but our first response should be something akin to, 'Well done!' rather than jumping into a critique. Would you want to write anymore if your honest efforts were met with a load of criticism?" (ouch! Good point!)
- The #1 thing I walked away with-- Doug & I need to pray about, collaborate, write, and prominently post (i.e., on the fridge or wall) a set of our specific homeschool goals. I believe we've discussed these enough that we both could likely articulate these things in broad terms now, but having specifics, with scriptural references to support each aim, is something that could be tremendously beneficial when decisions need to be made concerning education, timing, opportunities that arise, etc.
- What is the nature of God?
- What is the nature of man?
- Who or what is in control?
- Who owns my child?
- Who is responsible for my child?
- Why do we educate?
- What is our motivation for education?
- What is the ultimate goal of education?
- What's the purpose of life?
- What is man's relationship to God?
- For what am I preparing my child?
Sometimes I really stink at the living out the details of daily life in a way that matches up to our long-term aims. Ruts of poor interaction, where the distractions of routine and daily needs swallow up the larger goals (spiritual, emotional, interpersonal, etc.) we have for our family, can take hold and it can be difficult to shake loose of those bad habits.
So for me, a weekend spent focused on getting further training, remembering the big picture, assessing the past, and gearing up for the future has been three days well-spent. If you're a young homeschool mom, I'd encourage you to do something similar if you can.