September 25, 2009, Newsletter Issue #298: The Parental Method

Tip of the Week

The Parental Approach is simply the school day following the parent's lead. What you think needs to be taught, when and how you want to teach it is really all it involves.

In order to follow the parental approach, you must first know yourself. You have to have a firm conviction that your values are right for your family and appropriate to form the cornerstone on which all else is built. You have to believe that even your "tastes" are valid.

• You must know your religious beliefs if you are going to incorporate them into teaching. If you are a believer (whatever your religion- God-based or otherwise) know your beliefs. If you are not a believer in a religion, know that, too. If going to a worship service is not important to you, then starting merely because you are homeschooling makes it a chore, not something that you enjoy—think about that.

• You must know your cultural heritage. You are the only preserver of your unique family culture. Your spouse's is totally different—even if you grew up next door to each other. Your job is to know your personal culture and to teach those ways to your children, both by telling them about it and living it.

• You must believe that you are the right person to be your child's guide, mentor, and authority figure. If you are uncomfortable with these, or if you're waffling back and forth over nearly every issue, I recommend that you stick with a boxed curriculum.

• Determine your schedule. I advise beginning homeschoolers to spend four hours per day (mornings are really good).

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Thanks so much for reading the the Homeschool Tips Newsletter.

The new 2006-2007 Sonlight catalog is hot off the presses! In addition to new educational resources, we've also made some significant improvements to our curriculum, such as expanded flexibility in Reader choices for Levels K through 2.

The catalog also provides several articles with helpful homeschool tips. For example, check out the "Top Ten Goals" article (pp. 146-147) which can help you think through your personal philosophy when it comes to homeschooling. And "Why we use certain books that some homeschoolers won't touch" (pp. 144-145), that gets into some pretty important issues about the content of books. And you won’t want to miss “27 Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight”—a perennial favorite (beginning on page 148).

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Sarita Holzmann
Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.

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