Monday, December 1, 2008

You Can't Put Kids in a Box!

I feel so blessed that my children have the opportunity to be homeschooled. How wonderful to be able to learn at your own pace and not have the pressure to keep up with the rest of the class...or slow down with the rest of the class. You really cannot put children in a box and expect them all to conform!

Take for example my youngest sister, Bekah, who is 7 and in 2nd grade, and my two oldest kids, Gavin, almost 6 and in 1st grade, and Maddie, 4 and not formally in any grade yet. When this current school year started, Gavin began a 2nd grade math book. Bekah was finishing up the last chapter of her 1st grade math book. Maddie could count to 40 but couldn't identify written numerals. As far as reading ability, Bekah was starting to read a few books on her own while Gavin could stumble through and sound out a few words very painfully. Maddie picked up one of Gavin's phonics books and began reading on her own without any training!

In a classroom setting, would Gavin have been skipped ahead into 2nd grade or an accelerated group so he could excel in math or would he have been kept with his equals in reading ability and relearned math skills he was far beyond? Would Bekah have been held back since she had not completed her 1st grade work or would she have been allowed to continue flourishing in phonics with her peers? And what of Maddie?

A family member was telling me recently that her child was being made to repeat a grade because her reading was not up to par with the rest of the children her age. Her math skills were acceptable, but since she needed more phonics work, she had to be held back. The mother said it was upsetting to the child who wanted to move on with her peers and as a result, it was also upsetting to the mother. It saddened me to think of that little child becoming discouraged just because she was not moving at a predetermined pace.

It is not the public school's fault! How else can they handle classrooms of kids with varying skill levels? It is not possible to have one child in multiple grades. With homeschooling, there is freedom to let a child grow in their own timing.

Fast forward a few months. Today, Bekah is working in her 2nd grade math book and continuing to read more and more on her own (including words like "restaurant"!). Gavin hit a rough spot in his 2nd grade math book and took a break to try a book on counting coins instead. As far as reading, he suddenly caught on and is now starting to sound out and write his own stories. Maddie continues to amaze us with her ease in learning to read and continues to struggle to recognize numbers. Neither has felt pressured to slow or accelerate their learning.

Neither has been put in a box!


  1. I couldn't agree more!

    And in what world would I think that my almost 2 year old could count to 8 all by himself! I can't even stand it! And how would that have happened if I was working outside the home? :) I love my job!

    Keep it up!

  2. I am starting to embark on this homeschooling journey...and am currently being led by fear becaus every extended family member seems to think I am wrong and going to fail my children miserably!

    I am always encouraged by your blog! Keep up the progress reports...

    God bless-

  3. I thought you may know since you review many products, I'm looking into buying a nursing tank and was wondering if you could recommend one? Thanks.

    Oh-i enjoyed the homeschooling blog. I'm going to be starting next fall so the insight helps!

  4. Isn't it a blessing?! Not only do children learn at a different rate, but boys and girls learn differently. It is so hard to put them all in one place and expect them to learn the same things at the same time. We just weren't built that way.


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