A book could be written on this topic. My first clarification is that my children were five years apart in age and above-average in intelligence. Wait, I don’t say this to boast. I believe that every child can succeed to the best of their ability. Because of poor health and miscarriages, I couldn’t have my children close in age. So, I wasn’t able to teach them all together. Each child needed their own books and separate plan. Though there were bumps along the way, I can’t complain about any learning disabilities. I’m very thankful to God for my children. God knew that my health was going to be bad, and that would be enough stress.
My husband and I are both teachers and we wanted our kids to attend college, so we planned to have them prepared as much as possible. Although I’m not able to teach math or science classes at the high-school level, I found ways to help the kids learn these subjects. I’m really terrible at math, and knew that I couldn’t give them any help. When they reached pre-algebra we always used a DVD Math program and a tutor. Sometimes the tutor was 2-3 times per week. This really paid off, because our youngest is a math major in college and doing well.
Our older two have done or are doing graduate school. My main objective with homeschooling was to have them prepared for anything God might call them to do in their adult life. I didn’t want them to be held back by a second-rate education. So, we tried to make sure they took all the courses (as much as we could).
Extra-curricular activities were also available. They could only choose one thing at a time. This was fun, because they tried a lot of things: many different sports, musical instruments, voice, ballet, theater, and more. Nothing really made them want to become a professional in any of these areas, (and they weren’t that talented). But, it’s great fun, helped them make friends, wonderful exercise and they learned skills they can always enjoy!
Because we’re a Christian family, we studied the Bible. Our kids memorized Bible verses and went on Mission trips and Youth retreats. They earned trophies for their years of Bible memorization.
We participated in standardized testing each year, which made college entrance exams much less frightening. Putting high standards in front of your kids is good for them. How will they know how far they can go if we don’t expect a lot from them? Of course, I would never expect more than they could do. I’m always pleased with kids when they do their best.
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman