I home school my youngest little. He is six years old and a very fast learner. I know all parents say that right? I have 3 littles and have seen the different ways they learn and absorb new material. I have homeschooled each of them at some point in their lives. Each one learned differently!
While my middle little was capable of homeschooling for several years my oldest was not. He needed more hands on instruction than I was able to give especially in higher math. Motivation was a big issue for my oldest as well. It seems being in the same house as his video games was too much for him to handle.
With my youngest little I have had to come up with various different ways for him to learn because of the type of child that he is. He is very hands on, likes to take things apart, loves cause and effect type lessons, soaks up science three times faster than the average little his age, and just all around learns better when there is action of some sort involved. I am sure if I let him he would be years ahead in science while barely staying afloat in english and spelling!
One of the hands on items I have seen homeschool parents utilize is counting blocks. Counting blocks are great! You can sort by color, you can count, you can add and subtract. They really are very versatile.
That did not work so well with my little. He loves to build so using them only to count, add and subtract induced a monumental melt down. When that happens there is no longer learning taking place and it disrupts the whole flow of the day. I found something he loves to do and used these items to learn addition and subtraction.
Instead of using counting blocks we use race cars. Now I know what you are thinking, “My little would be too busy racing them around”. We have had great success with adding and subtracting numbers under 10 with the cars because he can roll them to take away or add different numbers. Rolling away different colors or groups of cars all at once helps to recognize patterns and grouping. I have flash cards I work off of as well but have him “count” the cars instead of memorizing numbers.
Homeschooling is about thinking outside the box. It is one of the reasons some parents decide to homeschool to begin with! I want my little to be able to solve problems a myriad of different ways and by teaching him he can do math using cars I am able to expand his learning experience. Do I still use paper and pencil? Of course! He wrote telling sentences and questions today. It took a very, very long time! He sounded out the words he wanted to write and with some encouragement he finished, eventually. And you know what? It looked great! There is more than one way to teach and encourage your littles whether it is their homework from traditional school or all day long in your homeschool.
Homeschooling and teaching outside of the box can be a fun and rewarding experience for not only the parents but the littles as well. Just think of what an amazing and well-rounded adult your little will grow to be with various ways to cope with challenges that arise all because you let him play with race cars!