How do I teach my children to be independent learners? How do I handle the rigors of a homeschooling schedule? Where do I start? These are some of the questions Dynel Fuller, homeschool mother of ten, had to face before she could dive into homeschooling her first child. She soon found that the key to her homeschooling success would be creating a routine that fostered her children’s independence.
Where did she begin?
She started her first child (now a college graduate) on BJU Press Distance Learning. The Fullers wanted to give their children a quality education that would complement their unique skills and abilities. The clear structure of BJU Press curriculum was a perfect fit. As she began homeschooling more of her children, Dynel found that the structure allowed her to balance multiple schedules with ease. She could even incorporate music lessons and extra activities.
Where has her journey taken her?
Today, three of the ten have graduated and moved on, but Dynel still homeschools six children. Each child has an hour of practice time on the piano and an hour of another instrument in addition to regular studies. She even has a special time when all of the children still at home gather for Reading Corner, when mom reads aloud for about an hour.
A day in the Fuller household would never pass smoothly if all of her children didn’t always know what to do, where to go, and when. Their routine has fostered her children’s independence, so much so that Dynel has confidence that she can go about her errands and not worry about disrupting their education. Her children know how to complete their lessons on their own, and if they need extra help, they also know to move on to a different subject until mom is free.
What bumps in the road has she faced?
No routine can be expected to work perfectly from elementary through high school. A big challenge she has had to overcome is the transition from middle school to high school. During their elementary grades, her kids found it easy to complete all the lessons in the textbooks. In high school, they struggled to finish everything in the normal amount of school time. Her goal of having them complete every lesson was throwing off her routine—until she learned that most high school classes don’t finish the entire textbook. Instead of working to finish every lesson in the high school textbooks, she focuses on lessons that will be valuable for each child’s unique learning goals. Her adjustments have further fostered her children’s independence because their learning goals center on their particular talents and interests. Their routine encourages them to pursue subjects that they have an interest in.
Every homeschool mom has valuable lessons to share, and Dynel’s story is full of inspiring lessons. Look for more about Dynel and her homeschooling journey in future posts!