Monday, August 31, 2009

Homeschooling Strengthens Families

Recently, I have been reminded how homeschooling benefits our youngest child specifically and younger siblings in general.

Two year ago Baby Bop came to our family as a short term foster care placement. He was 14 months old and suffering from a multitude of problems mostly caused by neglect. I honestly can’t image how I could have met his needs without the aid of our 3 daughters. Because we homeschool, Baby Bop had constant stimulation. Someone was always rocking, playing with, feeding, carrying, talking to, singing to, and reading to this little boy. Our home was always a place of learning, not only for Baby Bop, but for our girls.

Here are a few examples:

1) As many homeschoolers do, we have maps up on our walls. We have a map of the United States that hangs on the wall near the highchair. When I would feed Baby Bop, I would point at a state and talk about it. The girls would do the same. Not only do my girls know the names and locations of the states, but Baby Bop can identify about 20 states.

2) We recently had neurological evaluations done on Baby Bop and our other girls. Baby Bop did surprisingly well. I give the credit to my youngest daughter. Much of infant brain development is a product of “floor time.” This is the time babies spend creeping and crawling which aids the brains natural process of organizing and culling brain pathways. My youngest daughter spent hours on the floor with Baby Bop playing horses and dogs.

Even though Baby Bop spent his first year confined to a crib and car seat, the extra floor time helped him catch up to normal brain development. Baby Bop is not the only who benefited from the floor time. My youngest daughter is also my best speller and earliest reader, even though I spent little or no time teaching spelling or reading.

3) Another benefit of having children of different ages learning at home is the “mimic factor.” My younger children follow the good examples set by the older ones. Younger children want to try more challenging school work because they want to do what their older siblings are doing.

We use learning journals as part of both academic and religious studies. Recently during our family devotional time, Baby Bop demanded a learning journal when he realized all the girls had one. He was so proud of himself, when he came to show me his learning journal.

4) Baby Bop’s speech therapist commented that Baby Bop is different from her other clients in his ability to extemporize during imaginative play. My older children do a lot of that sort of thing, but even I was surprised at his level of creativity.

For example while waiting for an appointment, my middle daughter kept Baby Bop busy by pretending to roast marsh mellows over a red circle on a gym floor. We were ready to go just about the time they pretended to make smores. Baby Bop walked to our van with his hands cupped as if he were holding the smores. After being buckled into his car seat, he pretended to take a big bite. He then made a shocked look on his face, grabbed his sister’s hand and pretended to spit out the bite he had just taken. Baby Bop then pretended to take a small bite, held his mouth as if he had taken a bite of hot food and said “hot.”


Through homeschooling, Baby Bop is where he is today, my children are well connected to each other and to Baby Bop. They have gained invaluable life experiences, as wells academic accomplishments.


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Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education

7 comments:

Marbel said...

This is just beautiful.

lisa said...

I feel homeschooling is really effective way of education for children, by this younger children also learn from the elder ones. Another great benefit is younger children follow the examples set by the elder ones.

Home Schooling is better option for shy students also, they dont feel hesitate at their own home.They have gained invaluable life experiences, as wells academic accomplishments.

lisa said...

I feel homeschooling is really effective way of education for children, by this younger children also learn from the elder ones. Another great benefit is younger children follow the examples set by the elder ones.

Home Schooling is better option for shy students also, they dont feel hesitate at their own home.They have gained invaluable life experiences, as wells academic accomplishments.

Thanks
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Matt Sullivan said...

Great article and so true. We have grown so close with my wife and I homeschooling our three kids.

Susan said...

Wonderful article. Floor time vs."screen time" --- love that thought.

Susan

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Rich said...

Hi Janine,

Great post. I love your blog. You have some very insightful postings on why homeschooling is so important.

My name is Rich Roberts and along with some business partners have created a new educational service for Homeschool families called HomeSchool Advantage.

http://www.homeschooladvantage.com/

The service provides supplementary educational workbooks for students in grades 1-12, across a wide variety of subjects on a daily basis.

Our goal is that by having kids learn a little every day (in addition to what the parents are already teaching them), key facts will get retained in long-term memory.

We have a short video that explains how the system operates as well as a guide that provides more in depth detail.

http://www.homeschooladvantage.com/users/community

We’d love it if you have the time to take a look at what we are offering and provide feedback. (good or bad).

We really need to hear from folks like yourself if you find what we have created seems like it would be worthwhile to homeschool families or not.

Sorry for posting this here but I didn't see a way to send you an email directly.

Sincerely,

Rich Roberts