Write It Down. It Will Help!

Jacob studying
Jacob studying

Write it down! An old mentor once said, “Do you know what lasts longer than your memory. A pencil and paper.”

Jacob and I spent much of last week catching up from some vacation week. But this week, was a LOT of work.

I try to make sure that his work has a reasonable pace, but because of the “vacation” week, we had an extra workload. My goal is not to overload him. Because if he “hates” it, it will be that much harder to move him ahead.

But, yesterday, was MATH day.

One of my friends who has been helping his kids out with school said YouTube was fast becoming his best friend. I, on the other hand, find Khan Academy to be helpful for Jacob. There were a few holes in his math studies before we came to the homeschool place. I must help him make up for that.

My friend also made the statement that if the kids failed, we failed. I understand that.

So, learning how Jacob studies and understands is part of the solution.

But we got through it. I wrote his teacher. Explained what I felt were holes in his learning and asked her help to get through it with understanding. Grades are only part of the answer.

(Today, is English. A little more subjective, so to speak!)

Music class was not too bad, but this is where I learned the soft skill of note-taking is not always taught or understood. I have spent the last 4 days, projecting the classes onto the TV, having discussions, and letting Jacob take notes. Note-taking forces you to pay attention and helps you focus and helps you to learn. (And the class has been on prehistoric and medieval music. He has to listen to clips a lot and talk about the music. And compare things like a troubadour to a current musician.)

History remains his favorite as we study the Cold War, Viet Nam, and related events. And I am glad about this. Lots of critical thinking and observation.

And Science, while a challenge, is getting better. Thank goodness we are studying weather right now. (I think he thought we were going to blow something up! He has a chem lab! Who knows?)

More people are reaching out to me. I will tell you; I absolutely do not have all the answers. But I have found a school that is incredibly supportive. Each week, Jacob is in touch with each of his teachers, plus a student-teacher person. This does not include if he needs more help in a class. I like the fact that grades are often on the day of a quiz or test, he screenshots all the good ones to send to his mom!

Jacob and Lee
Jacob and Lee

Folks, if I have one word that will make a ton of difference, it is NOTES! I was doing some research on a major job site, Indeed. There is a whole section under Career Advice that is devoted to Note-Taking. How to listen, how to be a critical thinking person, how to organize and how to bring it all together.

Teach your child to take notes. Not just a list. (Though a list is great if you know your priorities. Lists ought never dictate priorities.) The ability to take information and synthesize it in a manner that helps one to remember and learn from.

And that is where we are at. I am still learning. Jacob is still learning. And it is great to be together.

Till next time.

(I would love to hear your homeschool stories!)

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