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Using textbooks is not a sin at all in homeschooling your children. You might ask why I mention sin in this case. Some homeschooling moms dream about the children delight direct methods which I mentioned in the previous post, Why Homeschoolers Use or Don't Use Texbooks, since it is the most ideal way of learning. However, not everyone can use the methods in some other ways. Other homeschoolers prefer using the textbooks too.
The last year of our homeschooling, we use some homeschooling textbooks. Kids have entered their middle school level or the junior high school level so I just think they need to use textbooks in spite of the reference books only. We have done well so far. Today I would like to share how we plan the use of textbooks in homeschooling and the common activities we do with the textbooks.
Planning and Using Textbooks
If you are a planner mom, the planning process is much easier when you use textbooks. You might plan ahead for longer time. If you use the electronic planners, it is a real advantage for using the textbooks. Here are some things that I do to plan with the textbooks.
- When you have chosen the textbooks, look up the table of contents.
Select the points, chapters, pages, or topic that you will use. I would like to suggest that you use the suitable topics. Give priorities to the common core or any compulsory. Don't try to force giving all of the portions for your children. Just check what might work and what might be struggling.
- Count the number of pages or chapters or units you might use.
After you select the parts of the textbooks that you want to use, you need to sum up how many pages or chapters or units you want to cover in a year.
- Count the number of learning hours or lessons in a year.
Define how many days in a week you will have the lesson using the textbooks. Next, find out how many lessons in a year you are going to cover the materials. Just count the number of the school days, excluding the holidays.
- Define how many pages or parts that your children will need to cover in each lesson.
There is a couple of options you might choose to define how many pages or chapter or units that your children will need to cover in each lesson. However, the most important thing is that you have to know your children well regarding the limit of concentration and interest they are available to endure.
- The first method is by dividing the number of pages or chapters or units by the number of the learning hours or lessons in a year. This is a very fair way to get the number of pages or chapters children need to cover in a lesson. However, there is usually some pages with a single topic cut up not on the right place.
- Define the chunks of the pages or materials in the textbooks you want the children to finish in each lesson. If you use this method, you need to give a sign where the lesson will be started and finished each time. You can adapt the children's ability to cover things in this case. For example, if your children are fast learners, then you can have more pages to cover in each lesson.
Using The Textbooks
How different are you from the public school when you use the textbooks as well?
That is a question that might arrive at a misunderstanding about homeschooling and moving the public school at home. Until right now there are a lot of misunderstanding about moving the public school at home from homeschooling as a family-based education.
Using the textbooks might lead homeschoolers to forgetting the family-based education if the role of family as the main authority and responsibility in the children's education is neglected. Therefore, we need to be alerted when our homeschooling show that symptom. In other words, I would like to say that textbooks are helpful for many people, especially those who are in the middle and high school levels, but parents should be able to be the main control for their children's education. The amount of the control should be decreased from time to time as the children are growing and they start to be able to control themselves.
There are some tutorial institutions that call themselves as community homeschooling institutions here in my country. They try to control the whole learning of the children so that parents give most of their responsibility to the institutions. The homeschooling method becomes moving the public school at home. The main trigger for this case is the use of textbooks as the main control in the children's learning.
Well, there are some ways of using the textbooks
- We use the lapbooking and notebooking activities with our children from they were in the elementary levels in many subjects.
We have some piles of notebooking page template stocks for years round using the textbooks and other resources.
- We combine the use of textbooks and the reference books as well to help children with the research skills.
- We have some combination between the textbooks and the experiments or hands on activities as well.
- We have some great textbooks equipped with the Teachers' Guide to help both parents and children explore the topics in the subjects.
Those are just some examples on how we use textbooks in our homeschooling.
Do you use textbooks in your homeschooling? How do you use them?