If you were to ask me about my homeschooling approach, I would tell you that I try to follow my children's lead and let them learn what they want to learn, at the pace they want to learn it. I introduce them to new concepts and topics all the time, and I wait to see which ones pique their interest. I pay attention to the way they interpret the world around them, and step in to teach and guide along the way.

There is one concept that is critical to the success of this philosophy, and it's not easy to always remember and respect it:


It's important to have trust in the learning process, trust that my children will be open to learning, trust that I'll know how to help them learn what they want & need to learn. There are times when I lose sight of that sense of trust and I wonder if I'm teaching them the right things, and enough of those things. Too much? Too little? Wrong topics? I start feeling lost and out of touch with the process. I doubt my abilities to teach them. And then something happens that puts it all back in perspective for me. I learn how to trust again.

Today I rediscovered that sense. 'A' was counting up to one hundred... past one hundred... and she stopped at "one hundred forty nine!" Then she ran to her paper and pencil and wrote out the number one hundred forty nine: 10049. I heard her thinking it out as she wrote. "One hundred has two zeros..." Then she proudly showed me her work. It was then that I had my "Aha!" moment and knew that it was time to teach her how to write 149. She let me know that she was ready and interested in learning about it.

She made sets of ten with the colored tiles; counted them by tens; wrote out equations showing how she added 10 to each set; and finally she practiced writing numbers higher than 100. And when she felt she was done, she scampered off to play "Laura and Mary" and exercise her brain in a completely different way.

'H' is almost 4 now and is ready for some informal instruction as well. She loves to scribble "words" and she's even starting to write the names of all of her family members. 'H' has a special issue: we don't know yet if she's right handed or left handed. She scribbles with both hands (equal amounts too), and when I look at her scribbles, it appears that her right handed scribbles are neater and more uniform than her left handed scribbles. I started to think she was right handed.

Today I sat her down to practice writing a few letters, and every time I asked her to trace my sample letter and be neat, taking care to make straight lines, she chose to use her left hand. She just couldn't do it with her right hand.

Maybe she's left handed?

One thing is for sure: we don't know yet. She isn't comfortable writing letters with either hand yet. Trusting that this process will unfold on its own when the time is right, I put away the handwriting paper and I'll pull it out when she's ready.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!