If you were asked this question, what would your answer be?
Mimic the public school setting? Used only boxed curriculum? Ditch the books and dig in hands on only? Join a co-op group and get plugged in to everything they offer?
My answer to this question would be the right way to homeschool is the way that best fits your family. Yep. Pretty simple. Too vague for you? Ok. Well, for me, the right right way to homeschool my youngest differs from my older two boys. (I have one adult in the working world, and another one in college.) One of my boys was, and still is, a huge bookworm. I had to ground him from reading to get him to finish his work and go to bed on time. Yes, this is true. He asked me, "What kind of mother grounds her child from reading"? Um, me. So for my middle child, the right way to homeschool was books, of course. The reading, answering questions, worked for him wonderfully. My oldest wanted nothing more than to work independently. Some days he would have his entire day of homeschool work finished by the time I got up in the morning at 8:30am. Giving him a schedule with lesson plans worked for him. My youngest one, well, none of that would work for him. He is a more hands-on, auditory learner. If he had to read an entire lesson and answer questions we would have a melt down for sure. I know what some are thinking, "You are the teacher, he should be able to read a lesson and answer questions." My response to this is, "Says who?". This is why the public school system has failed some kids. Not because of the books or teachers, but because of their learning style. Let me explain.
My youngest can listen to me read his entire lesson while he builds things with Legos and he will retain just about everything I have read to him. Same with the TV. If he watches something on the History channel while building with his Legos, he will retain it. But if he had to read it to himself, he would retain maybe 25% of it if not less. Why? He doesn't like to read. He does struggle a bit, but he can read pretty decent. I didn't like to read when I was a child, but once I graduated, I would go to the library and get books on my own and read without anyone instructing me to. Some kids don't like to read, period.
This also goes for his spelling words. If I give him the traditional spelling test (give him the word, in a sentence, and he writes it down), he gets about 50% wrong. I struggled with this thinking that I was failing him or he is just failing spelling. NOT THE CASE! One day I decided to give him the words orally, upon his request, and he scored a 95%! He hadn't studied them, written them several times, etc. Could there be an issue with the brain getting the words to his hand for writing them onto paper? Possibly. I do know he has Dyslexia, that could very well be a large part. But why stress over this? When in his life will he ever have to write down a group of words and be graded on them? Sure, he will have to write, but lets face it, this is the world of electronics, spell check, auto correct, etc. (I am not a fan of auto correct, but hey, it's there to help.) So he will do fine. I am not worried.
The public puts so much pressure on these kids to study, work, study, work, study, work. Well, how has that worked out for this country? We have more entitlement issues and welfare than we have ever had in the past. I know several people who are in debt with student loans and can't find a job in that field. Sad. Very sad. I encourage those to go to college if they want to, but make sure it's something they love and plan to relocate if necessary to achieve that career.
I have always told my boys that it doesn't matter to me what they do for a living as long as it's honest, they can support themselves and their families, and they are happy! If they want to work for the county and dig ditches, fine by me. If they want to be an associate at Walmart, fine, as long as you are happy. I'm sure some may be thinking that I am not setting goals for my children or encouraging them to do better. That isn't true. How many people have high paying careers and top positions in a company and absolutely hate going to work everyday? And lets not get on the stress issue. Some of these jobs consume people so they are so stressed they need to go on medication just to function day to day. Really? Why would I push my children toward that type of life?
Think about our "typical" life. We work as soon as we get out of school. Then work until we are 65 years old or so, then we retire and deal with health issues for our entire retirement and some struggle financially. For what? To pay a mortgage or have a nice car? To pay for nice things? Maybe we need to evaluate what is really important and what we really want out of life. Kudos to those who are working a part time job (or no job at all), supplying their own family with food from their farm, even living off the grid. I think that is great! This country has become to dependent on our government to take care of us. It isn't their responsibility. It is ours. I feel that the public educational system is not helping with this at all, but adding to it. And as far as happiness goes, only YOU can make YOU happy. If you aren't happy, change your lifestyle. Pray and ask the Lord to show you the desires of your heart, how to eliminate stress, provide for yourself in all aspects of life. He will show you how to live the life you have always desired! :)
Happy Homeschooling to you all and find your RIGHT way to homeschool and go with it!