Why is an understanding of a child’s developmental phases important on a website about home schooling?
Well, if you know where your child is now, you will be able to discern what you need to concentrate on now.
Too many parents usually think of homeschooling as a focus on the academics that is usually presented in school. But homeschooling is SO MUCH MORE than academics…this is the good news!
It is really about a total home education including giving attention to the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development your child needs.
It is not only about academics.
We as homeschoolers can have the holistic picture of what direction we want our children to grow in, and we can grow with them into what God has planned for us.
For the purpose of knowing how to create the environment for a better learning experience for your child, the following 4 major phases are distinguished below.
Read more on some goals to have for each phase, ideas on how to reach those goals and helpful books by clicking on the heading links!
During this phase my motto is “HAVE A LIFE AND INVOLVE YOUR CHILD IN IT”. Having a life doesn’t just mean having a job, it means having a home and a garden you take care of, going to places, visiting people, getting out into nature, reading books, doing things, playing games, listening to music, baking, cooking – whatever you fancy. This phase is a wonderful easy phase because babies and toddlers learn by observation, exploration and doing! Just do lots of exciting things and let your child be a part of it. And do not neglect to hold your child close often!
In this phase the child is getting ready for learning a bit more formally – but do not be in a hurry. Every child has his/her own pace. Learning to read and write and gaining a wide vocabulary is the thing to do here and if you have given “INDIVIDUAL ACADEMIC ATTENTION” to your child to lay a solid foundation during this phase the payoff will be there in the later years.
Now that the child is interested in gaining knowledge about all sorts of subjects and areas, “ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT” this search for knowledge by providing the environment to learn. Whether this includes having a lot of books, or a workshop, or tools or software or sports or whatever the interest may be. You may determine the learning areas, but do not get upset if your child is not interested in all of these…and yes, this is exactly the challenge we all face then – to determine what is really necessary to learn and what may be a waste of time.
I believe that this phase should be the reward for what you have sown during the younger years. During this phase your young adult will be preparing him/herself for the real adult world out there, and you will have to guide this process.
The world is full of challenges and therefore one needs to really think through WISELY what life skills, academic skills, social skills and WISDOM (s)he really needs to be able to function productively in the real world.
It is also during this phase that the young adult should discover more about themselves and their individual potential to start preparing them for knowing what to do (and not to do) with the lives.
It is a sad fact that most children age 18 years, about to enter the adult world do not have the slightest idea of who they are, where they are going or what they want out of life. They are simply drifting without direction and purpose. Do not let this happen to your child.
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