Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:23 pm
sharon wrote:I am a brand new homeschooler. I have a 4th grader in ECC which we are really enjoying. I also have triplets in 1st using MFW 1st grade.
I know my kids are learning and we are all enjoying it, but I have a nagging question if I am really doing enough. Since they were in school before I keep wondering if I am pushing them enough. My 4th grader is very smart so is there something I should do to push her more? So far I have been sticking to the curriculum guide almost exactly. Also I wonder if I should be pushing my first graders harder, and how exactly will I know if I am doing enough?
Thanks for your input :)
You are doing plenty. MFW programs are written in a way that they give you the most "bang for your buck." By that I mean both time AND money. You are spending less per child than the public schools do (and less than many homeschoolers). Plus, you are spending less hours per day than the public schools (and most homeschoolers).
The materials MFW has developed or tested are all wonderful resources that teach the material quickly and clearly. Take Spelling Power for example. In a public school, kids in a classroom all get one list and work it all week with exercises, writing, and fill-in-the-blanks. Come Friday they are tested on the words. For the child that knew the words already, those two hours of "studying spelling" were a total waste. With Spelling Power, you work the words you need just the amount you need. Other MFW resources work that way too. And, just being a homeschooler, you can speed up or slow down your pace to fit.
I would NOT require extra work from them if I were you. Don't add (I've tried it, and it just tires us out).
If you find extra time in your day, you can fill it with activities that will help the four of them grow such as:
Helping others (nursing homes, soup kitchens)
Serving your church (do the nursery toys need a bleach treatment?)
Collecting (rocks, feathers, etc.)
Scrapbooking and photography
Learning to keep house (laundry, cooking, cleaning)
Learning to fix cars
Biking, running, skating, swimming, etc.
Helping an adult with work (filing, filling orders, etc.)
If your 4th grader WANTS more ECC then give it to her, but don't require it. Perhaps she'd like to make a display of shelter or clothes from all the ECC countries. Perhaps she'd like to try a recipe from most of the countries you study. Maybe she'd like to look over the recommended reading and pick out some books. Maybe she'd like to look online for other activities. Let her explore but don't force it. Help her by buying the groceries, material, etc. she'll need.
Or ask her if there's something she'd like help learning. Add that foreign language if you're not already doing so. Get a typing CD-ROM. Let her learn the trumpet. Have her play 18 (see 1st grade TM) with the younger three. Help her start a craft club with girls from church, etc.
Similarly, see what the first graders want to do. Do they want to learn something, do something, etc.? Then let them!
Anwyay, MFW programs are complete as they are. Don't require more. Just see what the kids want and rejoice that your schooling is very effective and doesn't take all day like public school does. Pity those kids that ride the big yellow bus and then come home to chores, homework, sports, etc. They are busy 12 hours a day. Yikes.