Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Get It Down, Not Just Done

I have been making a diligent effort this school year to not just say Better Late Than Early, but to actually act on it. By personality, I'm a list check-er off-er. I love when we finish one book and move on to the next. But the point of schooling isn't really to check books off a list. The point is to gain the knowledge offered in each of those books! Imagine!

It's not about getting it done. It's about getting it down.

So, instead of making it my goal to see how quickly Elena can get through the math book, my goal is for her to fully understand and be confident in her skill at multiplication. Who cares how quickly she whizzes through the book if she can't remember 8 x 4? So, we do a few lessons in the multiplication book and then we take a break and just do FlashMaster until we get those facts down pat. We take however long we need to on a given workbook in order to learn the material. Finishing the math book by the end of the school year isn't the goal.
What good is it to finish 20 books in a year if the children aren't enjoying and learning from each of the books? Better to really dive into just 5 excellent books and take our time enjoying them.

After attempting to teach 3 children to read when they weren't ready and having them laboriously struggle over each word, and then one day it all clicks and they just take off reading completely independent from all the effort I put into it. . .
I am making the counter-cultural decision not to push my reluctant reader to do something for which he isn't developmentally ready. I'm going to wait.

Applaud me or judge me, I'm not making the same dumb mistake for the fourth time.


Here to Serve Him... said...

Couldn't agree more! Just wish I would have learned this valuable lesson before our oldest turned '16'!!! I guess better late than never! MaKayla who is a junior is doing a completely literature based American Lit. rather than a text book approach. She has been doing a literature based history for the past few years and has learned so, so much therefore I switched our youngest over to that style as well. They are both loving it and their learning has deepened tremendously.

Bugofmany said...

We've used Flashmaster as well and liked it. However, I recently found this: and LOVE it! It keeps track of their progress and has so many other great features. Cementing those math facts are SO important...if only I'd known earlier, too, with our oldest.

Shell said...

I there also. I use abeka and it flies through everything. I like the style, I think of teaching but, I'm going to slow it down like you and make sure they get it down pat before I have them move on.


Nealy said...

Your Aunt BB is smiling down from Heaven!!

Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations said...

I applaud you. I am on the same road. After struggling with my first child, forcing her to read before she was ready. I am now smooth sailing with my second child, who asked to learn how to read and in 4 months sailed through phonics for kindergarten and 1st grade. He is reading (not yet 6y.o.) and enjoying it, without the tears and fights. Praise the Lord, I have learned my lesson!!!! LOL