Moms do a lot of thinking about their children’s futures. As you consider your own child, you want to ensure that his education will set him on a good path for his future. In order to do that, you’ll need to place greater emphasis on the assignments that are most compatible with those goals. You’ll sometimes find yourself choosing one assignment over another.
You’re the director of your child’s education. No matter what curriculum you use, you get to make the final decision about what your child learns and how he learns it. But given the wealth of assignments in each textbook, how do you choose which assignments are most valuable for your child? In a previous post, I mentioned how Dynel Fuller allows her children to focus on subjects they enjoy. Here are some steps for directing your child’s education based on her experiences in homeschooling her ten children.
Know Your Child
To decide which assignments to focus on, you need to know your child. What’s his favorite subject and why? What subject is he weakest in? What subject is he strongest in? His best subject may not always be his favorite. The better you know your child, the easier it will be to shape his education to his particular needs. You’ll be able to ensure that he’s still being challenged in his strongest subject by giving him enrichment assignments that encourage him to use his knowledge of that subject in new ways. You’ll also be able to ensure that he’s not being overwhelmed in his weakest subject by only giving him assignments that encourage his comprehension.
Know the Field of Study
Dynel has an advantage in teaching her children a love for literature and writing because she herself is a writer and reader. She’s already familiar with which kinds of assignments will best encourage her children to grow in those areas. She’s also more equipped to add extra assignments where needed, such as reports and essays, and to decide which assignments may not be as important.
By learning about the field your child wants to study, you will be able to give him a solid foundation for future studies. So, if he wants to go into accounting, precalculus may be a good upper-level math course to stretch his mental ability. Whenever possible, always select the courses best suited to your child’s chosen field.
Keep Track of the Other Subjects
Just because you’re focusing more on one subject doesn’t mean you’re excluding the others. All subjects teach valuable skills that your child will need to call on throughout his life. For example, math isn’t only about algebra and geometry. It’s also an excellent way to learn problem solving skills. However, developing these skills may not require completing the assignments for every lesson in each textbook.
As Dynel observed, most schools don’t finish the textbooks either. Rather than working steadily through each textbook until summer break, you may choose to spend less time on earlier lessons in favor of the later ones. You may find that the bigger projects in certain subjects aren’t as necessary as they are in others. And that’s OK. You don’t need your child to complete every single assignment in a textbook in order to be a successful homeschool mom.
You don’t serve your curriculum; it serves you. You have the freedom to direct your child’s studies according to his skills, abilities, and goals.