I had such a neat conversation with another mom at co-op this week. We both have elementary school teaching experience in common; and because of that experience, we both have had a change in educational philosophy now that we homeschool our own kids. We recognize the need for massive amounts of independent play and time to be outside instead of the traditional elementary approach of expecting kids to sit, be still, and be quiet for most of the day. It was so refreshing to chat with someone who viewed the elementary years this way!That being said, I, of course, still value formal lessons and choose to do those many mornings during our week. As I continue to tweak the way I think about education, I continue to adjust the way we do school.
Just this week, I changed the way we do writing. I was applying too much pressure at too young of an age. There were just too many tears and frustrations. So after researching some different methods, we tried something new. Simply put, we’re doing free-writing. Both boys are doing well with learning spelling rules and grammar through their reading habits, so the idea behind free-writing is to reinstate confidence. I gave them a topic (fruit) and set the timer for five minutes. I told them the only rule they had to follow was they had to write the entire time. Spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and complete thoughts were not the goal. We were just writing. And it worked! Smiles and laughter. No tears. And they both actually wrote! I’m not sure how long we’ll continue with this, but I think we’ll give it a good amount of time so that the “I hate writing” bit is gone.