Magazine September 2013 - Page 14

x as I realized all the information they had absorbed during that one hour tour. Not only had they learned, but they really owned the knowledge in a way that wouldn’t be quickly forgotten. As one son gushed about the how quickly the boat rose as the water spilled into the lock, I knew that he understood the workings of the fascinating system. As another son marveled at the effortless opening of the massive lock doors, I knew that he had experienced the engineering masterpiece first hand. We talked about the dirt path along the side of the river that Neither of those facts had been a part of our reading had been worn by the mules that pulled boats in the 1840’s. Then we discussed the scraped markings on the sides of the canal that showed how each section of the ditch had been dug by hand. Neither of those facts had been a part of our reading, and I realized that we would have been all the poorer in knowledge if we had only depended on the book to do the teaching. The Different Ways To Homeschool Although every homeschool is unique, certain homeschooling styles and approaches have become very popular. Most homeschoolers do not follow one style or method exactly. Instead, they select the ideas and suggestions that fit their family and eventually end up with a method all their own. Some children prefer structure and learn best when they are told what to do, others learn best on their own. Some children do their best work around the kitchen table, and others excel when they are out-of-doors. The goal for the homeschooling parents is to identify how, when and what their child learns best and to adapt their teaching style to their child. Click/Tap here for the most popular homeschooling styles. Each style shows what a “typical day” is like for each. All the “unfinished book” guilt was gone when I realized that, although I hadn’t been exactly as I planned, I had done my job as a homeschooling teacher. My lesson plan called for us to learn about the Erie Canal, and while the words in the book were adequate, they were nothing compared to the opportunity to see the power of the water and feel the movement of the boat. I made a mental note to not ever fall into the trap of only reading about a lesson when we could actually get out and experience it. Back at home I put a big satisfying checkmark on my curriculum. Sure, we hadn’t finished the book, but we had learned about the Erie Canal.