Answering homeschooling questions

Answering homeschooling questions

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Today, I am continuing answering a homeschooling mom’s curriculum questions. Please see last week’s blog for the first part.

Answering homeschooling questions part 2

What if a child struggles with spelling?

Of my five kids, I have one excellent speller. I tried numerous spelling programs and was in tears sometimes with the other four. I have concluded it is a hereditary issue because my husband and his mother are terrible spellers. All my kids are good readers. Every child is different, so you have to work with the individuals and their interests sometimes. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. You can use materials that interest your child. Being excellent readers is very important. All my kids have been successful academically and professionally, even the ones who can’t spell worth a hoot.  I did purchase helpful resources for them, but sometimes they didn’t use the books because they opted to look up words using the computer. Using this method means one should make sure to have the right word, of course.

If your child struggles with a subject, keep working with him to figure it out. Remember that we are all better at some things than others. We all have our weaknesses. One of mine is math.

Did you bounce back and forth with some curriculums?

We all see something new we want to try. I bounced around with my spelling curriculum for a time before I just stuck with one.

Abeka is very thorough in all their subjects. They are harder than some curriculums, but I liked that it prepared them well. The teacher’s manuals have some great supplemental ideas and tips. I purchased all the teacher’s manuals in fourth grade but figured out my own system for history and science to save money. I recommend purchasing the answer keys.

Can one use Abeka for all the language arts and still produce well-rounded kids?

Yes, I think you can. I did supplement with Winston Grammar and some writing books, but that isn’t necessary; I was just extra thorough. One aspect that I liked with Winston Grammar was how they used cards to help the kids figure out the parts of speech.

Piecing together a million things without any real knowledge of how to teach can be overwhelming. Some have teaching degrees.  

You can teach your kids just fine without having an education degree. I am an English-writing-journalism major and stink at math, but I managed. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re smart. You can do this. You love your kids more than anybody, and you know their strengths and weaknesses. God will fill in the holes. He will. You are doing an amazing job! Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and don’t EVER think you’re not qualified, because you are. You can do this. Most homeschool moms I know didn’t have teaching degrees. Some had degrees in nursing, veterinary medicine, art, business, food science, etc. Some only had high school diplomas. They all managed to teach their children. Publishers of homeschooling curriculums will help you. They want you to succeed using their materials.

Secular curriculums

Mom: Also, I’m realizing while there is nothing sinful about a curriculum that is “secular” (and by that I just mean religion neutral, not liberal), but there is something beautiful about a full-Christian curriculum where our faith is taught throughout the math, spelling, reading, and everything. 

Me: Secular curriculums will just incorporate the world’s view with evolution, sexual stuff, and leaving God out.

Mom: What do you think of the new improved methods, for example in math?

Me: I think the old-fashioned ways of teaching math are better and cement it into their minds. Some of these new methods are confusing, and I see kids who can’t even do their addition and multiplication tables. How is that an improvement? Counting dots? Just learn the facts and build on it. If you don’t have a strong base, it’s all going to fail or be unstable and not build much confidence.

Incorporating our faith into the subjects is very beneficial so that the kids can see how our faith is real and applicable to all life applications. I love the God stories in our nation’s history. Very awesome.

Wrapping up

Mom: I wanted to hear about your Abeka experience and how you managed to educate your kids so successfully! Thank you for sharing.

Me: I hope I have helped. There isn’t anyone who is perfect or has it all together. We all just do our best and spend a lot of time on our knees asking God for help. After all, the most important part of homeschooling, when it is all said in done, isn’t that we have super smart kids—though that could happen—but that they are following our Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts and souls and bearing witness to Him. 

I hope you feel better and more confident in your abilities. There is no right or wrong per se with the different curriculums you can choose from. There are so many because there are so many tastes and preferences. I am confident in Abeka. If you ask others, they might tell you something different. You must choose what works best for you. That might change as your kids grow. 

 I stressed out over some stuff like spelling, and it didn’t help me any, so if I can save you some stress and grief, then I’m glad.

This is a summary of answering homeschool questions for this particular mom. Now, I hope that other veteran homeschoolers will share their advice with my readers.

Subscribing to a homeschooling magazine will also offer you regular encouragement. Check out Homeschooling Today. I am impressed with its current issue and line up for this year.

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