Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Homeschooling a toddler

One of the most important lessons i've learnt in homeschooling a toddler is to know when to stop the lesson. That's really easier said than done. When you spent alot of time planning and making the materials, you'd inevitably harbour high hopes and expectations. Needless to say, with great expectations come great dissapointments.

During our first weeks of homeschooling, N was not compliant. He wanted to destroy my materials more than completing the activity. Being dissapointed, i took it out on N, scolded and even said some harsh words to him. The worst part of it all,  i felt guilty & lousy for scolding him and being so impatient. And of course, all these made learning very stressful and not fun for N.

If you are feeling anything like how i felt, don't. The best thing to do now is to take a break from homeschool and start afresh. After i realised that the homeschool lesson became too stressful for us, i took a few weeks break to allow us to breathe. I started again when i was very sure that i could let it go if N didn't want to attend my homeschool lessons. True enough, as soon as i learnt to relax & allowed him to choose what he wants to do, the mood got more enjoyable, fun & fruitful. We never stop homeschooling since!

I've also discovered that if the activity is too difficult for the child, he'll loose interest quickly. Initially, i introduced activities that I thought was age appropiate. But N wasn't developmentally ready which was the reason why he was non compliant. Study your child well and know his level of ability. Introduce activities that are appropiate for him and never use the milestone charts as a gauge. Because if he is not ready, no matter how you teach and show him, he'll never pick it up. Worst, if you insist that he learns something he is not ready to do, he may develop a phobia toward that subject. But once he is ready, he'll pick up the concept/skill in a flash.

For instance, i once showed N how to use the tongs to pick up cotton balls etc. But at that time, he wasn't 1) interested and 2) developmentally ready. No matter how i explained to him, show him, taught him, he never got it.  So we took a break from that. Recently, i took it out again and lo & behold, he could use the tongs like a pro!

In sum, learn to take the lead from your child and not have him take the lead from you. If he shows any hint of disinterest in the activity, simply take it away from him and try again another time. Above all, you must enjoy homeschooling. If you are not, chances are your child is not too.  Always strive to make learning fun because that's what you want to instill in your child. Enjoy homeschooling!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, truly enjoy your posts on I'm currently considering doing that in the near future. Don't feel entirely ready or up to it, I figure there's be some days where either I or the kids are driven up the wall, but hopefully it's all worthwhile... :)


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