I am spending the next week or two summarizing the workshops that I attended at the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Associations conference. To read yesterday's review click: HERE!
The second workshop that I am reviewing was presented by Dr. Joyce Herzog. She is a former public/private school teacher and has been working with homeschooling families for over 20 years. We attended 2 of her workshops and then I bought 2 more on CD that I was unable to attend. My husband and I listened to this particular workshop in the car, on the way to church...since we had an hours drive...might as well listen to a workshop right?!:)
Secret's Teachers Never Tell!A little background on this workshop....as I was going through the list of workshops, this one appealed to me at first, but then I asked for my husband's opinion. He reminded me that I was once a public school teacher, so I probably knew all of the secrets....so I passed this one up. But after hearing her other workshops, I decided to buy this one, to see if I was in on the secrets....I think I was...and am...but here is what she said: (they aren't really all "secrets" I guess...more so tips.)
Secret #1: Review
Start off the school year with a little review. Don't dive into all new material.
Secret #2: Who says you have to go 9 months on and 3 months off?
You can create your own schedule. You can go 3 months, take 1 month off and so one. There is no rule or law that forbids you to teach during certain months. Make your own schedule that suites your family. Not the public school systems convenient schedule. She says the worst month to teach is December...too many other things going on and suggests taking it off from actual school.
Secret #3: You can't cover it all....no one had a perfect education...why try to change it?
She suggested to take all of your textbooks and curriculum in your house. Make a big pile in the middle of your living room. Sit there and look at it for a bit with your husband. Then go get a blanket, cover it up...and so the next time someone asks did you cover all of your curriculum...you don't have to lie...you really did "cover" it:) I liked that little story, so I thought I would share:)
Secret #4: Don't go buy anymore curriculum. Look to see what you already have.
Use the public library. Use encyclopedias. Use children's storybooks---yes---even for high schoolers. Do projects. Have your kids come up with the projects. Use what you already have. There are so many resources out there...you don't just have to rely on textbooks and workbooks...boring!
Secret #5: Use a textbook like a tool...don't worry about finishing textbooks.
Who says that you have to cover every.single.thing out there? Will you go to homeschooling jail if you don't? Teach a child what he/she is ready to learn and is interested in.
Secret #6: Forget about grade levels!
Where is it law that when a child is 7 they should be in this grade...and when they are 10 they should be in this grade? No where. Only in secular society and tradition. If you know me well, you know I HATE grade levels. If someone asks my kids what grade they are in, I don't want my kids to be confused, so they know how to respond by telling that person a certain grade level...but I know that that means absolutely NOTHING. My kids are all over the place in grades...maybe I should have them memorize the recommended "grade level" of the things they are working on in school and really confuse people.
Secret #7: Publishers are out for $.
She says that there goal is to put the least amount of information and spread it through several books. Also, why do we have so many updated math, english, and spelling books from the same publishers? Have these subjects changed? It is all about $$$.
I am sure I missed a few of the secrets...I was listening to it in the car and trying to take notes on my iPad. Hopefully you were able to get a little something out of my little summary!