Monday, February 8, 2010

Lessons Learned ~

Most recently, on our AKOL group we had someone ask about Dr. Ruth Beechick and if anyone had ever heard of her~ I wanted to share some personal thoughts on how Ruth Beechick helped our home learning to be as successful as it has become~

Having heard about Dr. Beechick way back when I first started homeschooling I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. Having tried Charlotte Mason methods, I found that while some worked and really helped many did not for my children and their learning style~ so I thought this was just another homeschooling method to add to my list. I checked it out but was concerned it seemed to much like CM again, not having read any of her books or speaking with her I decided it may not be for us.

To make a long story short, I decided to pick up Dr. Beechick's book You Can Teach Your Child Successfully and give it a chance and a read to see what all the talk and spin was about.... well, sigh, I could not put the book down. I tried some of the examples Dr. Beechick gave in her book and instantly saw how this was IT for us.

I am so happy I gave myself the time and patience to consider Dr. Beechick once again. She has been a gift to our home learning and so have a few others who have worked with Dr. Beechick who I have come to know and consider mentors for me in my home teaching.

some things I have learned:
* just because we may have special needs children, they do not have to have all the "special" curricula that textbook publishers try and sell to us. While some can be very needed for remediation others may not be the best and can hinder their learning in certain areas.

* there are teachers out there who honestly believe and feel that parents can be our children’s best teachers.

* Programs and curricula are fine as long as they meet the needs of the child and the home they are used in.

* using an integrated language approach can be very successful for children with special needs or struggling learners.

*Hands on learning for areas like Mathematics can be key to achieving a solid base for all mathematical reasoning.

*Teaching our children does not mean we are the “know all” person to sit and lecture to our children. We are the facilitators and at times can sit and learn, explore and have fun right along side our children we are teaching in our homes. Children can learn best when they are not preached to or direct every minute of their day but left up (at times) to their own thinking and reasoning to mold a more well –rounded, independent, life-long learner.

I am sure I will have many, many more things to add to this list along my way~ but these things stand out the most for me as I have been teaching my boys at home.

I continue to learn from them and they continue to teach me more about myself than I could have ever realized. Our children are such gifts to us ~ they need to be taught with patience, love and understanding, respected for their uniqueness and cherished for what they stand to teach us about ourselves.

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