Homeschool · My homeschool adventure

Why I use the Self-Teaching method in my homeschooling

My fight against homeschooling

Homeschool! There’s that “4 letter word” again! Haha…not really.

I have to be honest…I fought doing homeschool for a long time. The thought of doing it with my children made my skin crawl, but I knew that it would be a decision that would have to be made sooner or later. Especially with the way that our culture was beginning to go. My husband and I discussed it when our first two boys were babies, and so I knew that it would come up eventually.

A lot of my friends had been telling me that homeschool “was the only way to go”. They always said it with such vigor. I thought that they must have been drinking too much coffee or something, because I couldn’t understand why anyone would be so excited about homeschool. I swore that I would never do homeschool with my kids, because of how much I loathed teaching.

Haha…God had different plans for me.

 

It’s Not About Me

Obviously, MY plans suck. God always has a way of “putting me back in check”. I’m a stubborn ol’ cuss sometimes, and I like to fight against things I don’t want. Don’t we all?

He has given me so much insight in to the WHY I should do homeschool. It really is “not about me.” It is about instilling character in to my children. It’s about teaching them respect and love for God. It’s a choice to put their needs before mine, and to know that their hearts are important. Even at the young age that mine are (almost 8, 6, 4 and almost 2).

So, my feelings are invalid here. Most of my reasons for disliking homeschool so much are just selfish reasons, at best. These reasons are not really reasons. They are my selfish desire for silence, order and for “my space”.

I am naturally a selfish person when It comes to my time. Notice, how I say, “my time”. As if I have any of that!

I enjoy quiet, structure and everything in its place. I realize that all of those things are next to impossible when you have kids. Who can relate?

Here is yet another lesson God has been teaching me this year. The lesson that …

THIS SEASON OF LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME.

This “season” of life is for my kids. They are only little for a little while. I can only instill in them wisdom, for a short time. In the scheme of things, it’s really not that long that we have with our kids!

Yes, I am a selfish person by nature. Yes, God is continuing to clean that crap out of me. Yes, I am a work in progress.

Pray for me 🙂

 

Self-Taught is the way I roll

When I was little, my parents decided to homeschool my sisters, brothers and I. We were homeschooled for 10 years. I went to public high school for the last 2 years, and graduated with honors and a 3.7 grade point average.  Let’s just say, that at the time, I was probably one of the most “stupid homeschoolers”, but when I went to public high school….I excelled.

Looking back now, I really admire my mom who, at the time, was running my dads business and raising us 5 kids. Although she wasn’t a “teacher”, she made sure that we had all the curriculum we needed, and that everyday, we were doing our school work. She taught us how to read early, so that we could be “self-taught”. Because of our early reading abilities, we were able to read instructions and figure out how to do things all by ourself. That is why the Self-teaching method is the style for me. It’s just the way I roll!

This style for me, is the only way to go! Just like my mom, I am NO TEACHER. I don’t claim to be, and I do not want to be.

Do I help my children with their schooling? Of course! At their ages, I am fully aware of the time required of me to be able to teach them basic learning skills. I know that the first couple of years is going to obviously take a lot more of my time, and that’s ok. I’ve resolved this in my mind already. 🙂

This semester, I am teaching my 6-year-old  how to read. Although it is a lot slower of a process then his older brother (almost 8) was in learning, he is getting there. I fully intend to teach my kids how to read early on, and how to understand questions and instructions, so that they can be self-taught learners, just like I was.

“Besides the great advantage of developing good study habits and thinking ability, self—teaching also has immediate practical advantages. Many children should be able, through Advanced Placement examinations, to skip over one or more years of college. The great saving in time and expense from this is self—evident. These and other comparable accomplishments await most children who learn to self—teach and then apply this skill to their home education.

Even children of lesser ability can, by means of self—teaching and good study habits, achieve far more than they otherwise would have accomplished by the more ordinary techniques.”  https://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p993.htm

If you get a chance to check out this guys ^ (Mr. Robinson) story, its pretty crazy! He has a bunch of kids, and was able to homeschool all of his kids, after his wife died, with the Self-Teaching method. Great read.

How do I do Self-Taught?

The way that I approach homeschool is very simple. I currently use My Fathers World curriculum (https://www.mfwbooks.com). It is a great way to start homeschooling. I love how it lays out the lesson plans for you each week. I lay out for my almost 8-year-old (Jesse), the required books and lessons he needs to complete, and pretty much let him go at it. He is very smart, and understands things very well. After that, I start to teach my 6-year-old (Justus). He is still at that stage where he requires a lot of my attention.

Mix that with a 4-year-old running around like a zombie and an almost 2-year-old, getting in to anything that is not tied down. CRAY CRAY! You can say that my household is most of the time… chaotic. But, with all this chaos, somehow, it all works out in the end.

My almost 8-year-old (Jesse) had thrived in the self-taught style. He does great with learning, and needs very little from me. He has a 4th grade reading level, and is able to pretty much teach himself. It’s so awesome to see him at work!

Now, in another 10 years, I can totally go on vacation and be sippin’ margaritas by the beach somewhere, while my kids self-teach themselves!

Haha….Just kidding (kind of). But seriously, it really does take the “load off” or homeschooling, and especially teaching.  For those of you, like me, who are not teachers…maybe this is a style that will work for you?

You gotta do YOU

In the end, you have to do what works for you. I know this method doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s ok! You gotta do you. You gotta do what works for your individual child, and what works best for your personality.

If anyone has any great advice for me…PLEASE send me some suggestions. I don’t want anyone to think that I have it “all together”, because I don’t. I really have no clue. I am just doing what I need to do, and praying for the best.

Feel free to email me at zfrancisfit@gmail.com. I’m always up for some good tips or tricks!

God bless all you mama’s (or daddy’s) who are homeschooling today!

-Z

2 thoughts on “Why I use the Self-Teaching method in my homeschooling

  1. You're doing a great job! I've seen your kids and I've seen your home and you're doing a great job. I also read Mr. Robinson's story and was inspired to teach my girls to be self-taught. It worked marvelously and they also rose to the top of their classes like you did. I think that when we can teach ourselves we can follow our interests and succeed at whatever is before us. It's better than what is in the school system because the school system makes the children dependent upon their teachers. Keep up the good work Z . I'm in your corner and your children are blessed to have you as their mother and teacher.
    1. Thank you so much Virginia, for your awesome encouragement! My children absolutely love you, as if you were their own grandma. Thanks for always being so generous with your time! -Z

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