I like using our resources to the fullest. Ink pens are used to the last drop. Crayons to the smallest nub. But, what’s a homeschool parent to do when our textbooks don’t get finished?
Perhaps you are in a similar situation. Our kids’ textbooks (and workbooks) are filled to the brim with problems to solve. Each arithmetic lesson includes fifty exercises; language arts another sixty. Generally speaking, the bulk of these questions are a repeat of the one before, focusing on the current lesson and doing a little review at the end.
To ease our children’s frustration over the amount of work given (especially when the concept has already been learned), we’ve chosen to allow our children to skip exercises. Instead of doing all fifty arithmetic problems, they are doing twenty-five. Usually they are told to either pick the even-numbered problems or the odd-numbered problems, and complete those. However, if they miss any, more work will be assigned, to ensure they properly understand the lesson.
Here is my dilemma. This system is working! My kids are cruising through lessons with less fuss, and still learning the concepts brilliantly. So, what is the problem, you ask? I am bothered by the problems not done. (sigh) It seems wrong to not finish every… single… exercise… in the books.
But, the Lord is good! I think we’ve found a solution. One that will not only solve my dilemma, but also save me money!
I just purchased my children’s books for the coming school year. (Yes; I already bought them, ’cause I’m silly like that. – More on this topic soon.) My idea is to continue with the plan in place, allowing my children to complete only the even or odd-numbered problems. Then, when my next child reaches that same level, they will fill in the blanks!
What should happen if additional work is needed to fully comprehend the lessons? Easy. Supplemental exercises can be found in the back of each textbook. Whether completing even or odd-numbered problems, more work may be assigned from the added exercises to help our student progress.
I ought to note, I do not think this plan would serve well for those in younger grades. As book work for the littles is already kept to a minimum, I would be careful of skipping too many exercises. However, with older grades, where an abundance of busy work seems to be implemented, this plan might be beneficial. It should also be noted that I do not plan to carry this idea over into every area of learning; only grammar and arithmetic.
This new plan is a work in progress, and we’ll keep you posted on our experiment in learning. In the meantime, we’ll be praying over our decision and asking the Lord to continue giving us wisdom in how to best minister to our children in this area. May He be the leader, and we the doers.
Chime In!: Do your children complete their entire workbooks each year? How do you address issues of incomplete texts?