23 April 2015

Two Secret School Subjects That Bring Success

Dear Lissy,

Spring is the time we choose next year's school curricula.  Choosing curricula for you and Matt is both exciting and a tad overwhelming.  We're on a tight budget, so I look at free resources first, and then supplement with programs that cost money.  During my considerations, I have two "secret subjects" that I consider even more important than readin', writin', and 'rithmetic:  discipline and perseverance. In parenting, choosing immediate, complete, cheerful submission to God-given authority and thinking of others are the foundations for every other character trait.  In teaching, a child needs discipline and perseverance to master any (and every) subject.

 Instilling discipline and perseverance were my primary consideration from K-4 right up through 12th. 

Will this program allow me to teach my child to discipline themselves to work through tedious or mundane material?

Success in adult life depends on the ability to motivate yourself to complete mundane, routine, tedious tasks.  Computer or paper programs that offer only games and reward systems with lots of color and flash may teach the subject well, but they often fail to teach the discipline of work. I especially like programs that are divided by day so a child can see their progress through the course in relation to the school year.  Some programs, like Apologia Science, have separate publications available for day-to-day assignments.

Will this program give me the opportunity to teach my child to persevere through challenges?

Teaching a child how to teach themselves is my number one academic goal.  I firmly believe that anyone can learn anything given the proper resources.  I want a program that reinforces that thinking. We use Saxon Math, not just because it is an outstanding curricula, but because the publishers place the relevant lesson number beside every review problem.  When a child can't solve a problem, they know exactly where to look to find a similar problem.  Still struggling? We have the teacher videos that work out each problem step-by-step.   Khan Academy videos are also grouped by subject and skill.  Still struggling?  Now I'll sit down and help you figure it out or find someone who can. 

Choose to teach your children or students these two "secret subjects" and they'll be well on their way in life.

It's no secret how much I love you!


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