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Southern Baptist parents across the country are forming an exodus from the public school system. They are reclaiming our children for the cause of Christ. The public school system has betrayed us. It's time to take matters into our own hands. Mimi Rothschild
Founder & Education Expert

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Today's public schools are rapidly sprinting towards moral relativism and spiritual confusion. Parents who send their kids to these institutions every day run the risk of having their precious children indoctrinated against the very Christian values they hold dear. Southern Baptist leaders are calling for an alternative. This is that alternative Mimi Rothschild, Founder & Christian HomeSchool Advocate



What Grade Are You In?


Mimi Rothschild
Thursday, 13 November 2008 16:32

Comments Off on What Grade Are You In?

When an adult meets a child, it is very likely that the first question asked will be, “What grade are you in?”

For our homeschool students, the answer might be, “I’m in first grade reading, fourth grade math, and everything else is second grade” or “I get to go at my own pace, and we don’t worry about what grade I’m in.” Sometimes the real answer might even be, “It depends on the day – my mom teaches us all together, and sometimes the lessons are for my grade level and sometimes they’re for my sisters’ grade levels.”

Is this a problem? It doesn’t have to be.

When we plan lessons, we need to consider where our children are developmentally as well as what they’ve mastered in the subject. Sometimes a precocious homeschool student could move ahead and study subjects usually considered appropriate for older students. If we choose to do this, we need to make sure that the method used for presenting the subject matter fits the student’s developmental stage, even if the topic is more advanced. The same is true when our student needs to review concepts from an earlier grade level. When our expectations are out of sync with our child’s developmental stage, we’re asking for frustration, for ourselves and our children.

So a young child can understand, learn, and enjoy algebraic thinking concepts using toy animals to manipulate, but not using an algebra workbook. An older student who needs more work on basic reading can get good practice by using magazines and other materials written at a basic level, but might be embarrassed at being asked to read a book labeled “easy reader.”

Equally, when we want our children of different ages to study a subject together, we have to be ready to adapt the lesson to the different developmental needs of the different ages. A group of children may listen to the same online lecture or piece of music together. The youngest children might color while they listen, since it is hard for them to sit still and pay attention as long as the older ones. The older students might take notes in order to help organize their thoughts and develop this useful study technique. In this way, all the students can gain what they need from the shared experience.

What if your student is advanced in some areas and not in others? There’s a temptation to spend more time on the areas where the child has trouble, in hopes of catching up. Yet it is often true that the area in which the child excels is a source of pleasure for him. If he is forced to work extra on math in order to catch up with the reading that he loves, he may resent math and find it even harder, while losing some of his strength in reading through lack of practice.

In our own lives, we know and accept that there are some things we’re better at and enjoy more. We don’t expect ourselves to be equally good at everything. Yet we often do expect this of our kids.
Instead, let your student use her strengths to shore up her weaknesses. For example, if she loves science and struggles with writing, let her write lab reports about experiments, or keep a nature observation journal. If music is his pleasure and history is a chore, study history through music.

We can also recognize that our children may need more support for some subjects than others. That’s one of the advantages of homeschooling: that we can let our children work at the pace they need.

Christ gave His apostles what they were ready for, and didn’t insist that they learn and understand everything at once. This is a good example for us as eduators.

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Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of LearningByGrace.org the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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