There certainly are many good ideas out there for educating our children, but I find that following only one method tends to create clones out of otherwise naturally gifted kids. This is why I use a variety of methods that suit my children’s needs according to their learning style. I also learned that my children have a different learning style by subject. A method that works for Spelling doesn’t work for Math. An approach that works in Geography doesn’t work in Science. Each child in our family is different and each subject is to be approached from a different angle.
This is why I can only use our Organic method of homeschooling. Just as each plant on this planet requires different depth of ‘soil’, amounts of ‘water and sunlight’, and ‘different regions to grow in’, as do my children. It has taken us a while to customize our home education and each year we discover that each child expands a bit more, requiring more customizing. In this process, I can easily become frustrated or overwhelmed, but that only hinders my children. So we learn to be patient with each other and do the best we can. Here are three ways in which we retain our flexibility.
- Extend grace. Learning shouldn’t lead us to frustration and we want to keep the path of education as free and enjoyable as possible. So we extend grace to them and ask them to extend grace to us. If we find ourselves stuck in a rut, we partner together to find another way so it stays fun.
- Be willing to change the routines. We allow our kids to choose which subject they would like to do first. This may not work for others, but it works for us. We don’t need to do Math first every day. We can switch it up and do it after lunch if needed. And sometimes a child needs more one on one time so we arrange the day to allow for that.
- Be spontaneous. Taking time to be spontaneous helps alleviate the pressure and breathes excitement in their lives. At any moment I might announce it’s time to close the books and we head out to the library or to the beach. They know it means we need to get down to business once we get home, but this spontaneity helps us immensely.
In what ways do you nurture individuality in your child’s education?