Wednesday, May 6, 2009
We have experienced two very different ways of home educating. Our older children are quite close in age. We had three babies in four and a half years, so it was natural to teach them together as they grew. I could choose books to read aloud that all three would enjoy. We selected Bible, science and history curriculum that spanned a wide age range to simplify planning and teaching. It's easy to have discussions about almost any subject when several children are working on the same topic. There were some wonderful benefits to teaching them as a group, and I believe it strengthened the relationships between them.
Now of course, with just the ten year old at home, I am teaching one-on-one. I had to adapt some of my expectations as we have progressed with Hannah's schooling. Some curriculum that I really enjoyed using with the older children is not as useful with just one child. On the other hand, I can now pick a book that is specific to her interests in a way that I couldn't before. I also have time to sit with her through the entirety of her math lesson, question by question to be sure that she understands the concepts, rather than waiting for her to find me when she isn't getting it.
I truly am enjoying this unique opportunity to go through so many things again, sometimes in the same way, sometimes in a new way. Maybe someday, I'll get to do some of this a third time with grandchildren. I think that would be wonderful too.
(As an aside, our ten year gap and Hannah's birth are an interesting story. I just want to say that if part of your heart is saying that you should have had more children, I say DO! Hannah has been an amazing blessing to each member of our family and a huge testimony to God's goodness in our lives.)