Thursday, April 5, 2012

Working With Strengths

    If you're like me you might feel the stresses of wondering if you've taught your children enough over the past school year.  When I look back  I know my children have worked hard in many different areas all year long.  I know this because they have grown in the strengths that God has put into them.  "Train up a child in the way he should go..."  God has given each of my children strengths and it is my job to train them up in these areas.  I was reminded of this recently with my son, while working on history.  We have been studying the medieval time period using the curriculum I purchased a few years ago from "Beautiful Feet".   My daughter loved every minute of it.  She read every book, finished the research projects and completed the timeline.   But my son has not enjoyed it the way his sister had.  I have been reading the books along with him and helping him more than I needed to help my daughter.  He confessed that he really didn't find it very much fun and I was sad that history wasn't exciting to him.  Then I decided to work with his strengths.   The lessons can be tweaked for every student.  So I asked him what he would like to do to help him enjoy history more and he decided it would be fun to build a crossbow that was like the type the knights would have used in this time period.  He loves wood working  and he loves weaponry history so I agreed.  This worked out wonderfully for him.  I encouraged him to research the weapons of the time period as well as read, and design a plan before he could make the project.  When he finished his crossbow he was thrilled.  The best part was it really worked!  He learned more with this hands on project than he would have by reading a story about it.

I have learned over the years that it is better to work with my children's strengths than to try to force them into a mold that they just don't fit into.   Happy Homeschooling!


Building

Shooting

The finished project.
  

8 comments:

  1. Great advice, Jennifer! I will have to remember this along our homeschooling journey.

    God bless and Happy Easter!

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    1. It is one of those lessons you learn along the way Stacie. You'll see. :)

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  2. Hi Jennifer. I am homeschooling in UK where I think it is not so common. I agree totally with going with your child's strengths. I have one 8 yr old little son. He is very intelligent and creative but we were struggling with my 'school like' teaching methods. He was fighting me all the way and not learning as much as I wanted. We are now experimenting with 'unschooling' and it is suiting him better. His thirst for knowledge has started to come back. I find unschooling harder because I have less control over it and can't tick boxes when we've learned something i've planned. I am trying to let go of the control and flow with Little Son's learning style. ps how like a boy to want to make a weapon!! Little Son makes them out of anything he can find. Lily. xxx

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  3. Lily, Thank you for checking out my blog. I wish you well in your adventure of homeschooling. I've heard that it is difficult in your area of the world. We are so blessed in the US to have the freedoms that we have. I don't unschool, but I am not as focused on academics as many. I believe children learn best when they can have hands on learning experiences rather than trying to learn everything from a text book. God bless.

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    1. Hi Jennifer - what is good in the UK is that the government pretty much leaves you alone and does not expect any tests or particular curriculum to be followed. You do not have to even register to say you are homeschooling (although I did inform them as I felt more comfortable this way) What IS hard is that other people give you a hard time for not doing the 'normal' thing and are always implying your child is missing out. xxx

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  4. Hi Lily, I guess I've heard wrong about the UK, it sounds more restrictive here in the US. It depends on our state, but we have regulations aplenty. Today my son is working on his evaluation for the year, a requirement of the state, plus we have to file every year. We also have that same issue of people believing the children aren't socialized enough. God bless.

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  5. Loved your post Jennifer! You are so spot on! I too have found that if I let Olivia do hands on projects with what we are learning, she really learns so much better. It's fun figuring out my children's learning styles. Homeschooling is the best!! Keep up the good work. Oh, and tell Matt, "great job on the cross bow!!"

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  6. Thanks Karen. I'll pass that on to Matt.

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