We live in a time where there is an information overload through social media and the internet. Everyone has access to the newest and latest trends through video clips and pictures. A lot of people believe that they are teachers, engineers, medical practitioners, or electricians just because they watched a video on YouTube or read up about a subject online. These “professionals” will then tell you about the newest trend or teaching method and urge you to apply it when teaching your children at home.
We are flooded with learning material, worksheets, ideas and methods for teaching our children and some homeschool parents feel so overwhelmed that they start to believe that the more they do, the better the results will be.
In this overload of ideas, they try to please everyone by adding every single idea out there and by the end of the year, their children have files full of evidence to show how hard they worked throughout the year.
But have you ever stood still and thought of the way that children learn? A little bell must ring in the back of your head, reminding you that children learn through play, exploring, using their imagination and explaining how things work to someone else.
This took me back to the year when I was in Grade 1. How did things work back then? I mean, I turned out fine.
Luckily my mom kept my books in a box in a cupboard and, after I blew off the dust, I discovered one file with all the work that I had done in Grade 1. I thought that there should be more but after further investigation I realised that that was the only work I had done in Grade 1. Suddenly, I realised that the children in my classroom do four times more worksheets in a year’s time.
I decided to remove a lot of worksheets and rather do practical activities with the learners. I used chalk and let them write outside on the pavement, I made clay and they built letters and words with it rather than writing it down on a worksheet. This empowered them to discover the answers for themselves. After a year of teaching with fewer worksheets, the average of the class was higher than the year before even though they had fewer worksheets to show for it.
As a homeschool parent, you know how your children learn. Just give it a try, you have nothing to lose. Sometimes less is more. And, if you feel overwhelmed, just know that you don’t have to go it alone. Visit Impaq’s website to find out more about their products and services or click here to find a qualified tutor in your area to supplement your child’s education.
Hilda Erasmus: Foundation Phase Specialist