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Question: Every time I read your e-newsletter, I always feel so inspired that CHC's approach is really homeschooling and not just "school at home." The problem is that I consider myself more of a workbook type homeschooler. At least that is where I feel the most comfortable, probably because that is the approach that I remember most from my school days. I know that for Language Arts and Math, you follow a pretty standard workbooks approach. My daughter does love to do crafts and I think a more hands-on approach improves retention. What would you recommend? Can a workbook-type mom become an art/craft hands-on learning mom? Thank you for all of your time.
Answer:

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your question!

I am glad that you are a workbook type homeschooler, because workbooks can be a critical part of schooling. Workbooks are a way of formally assessing the student's knowledge, so they can be useful as part of a complete CHC program.

However, it is also important not to rely solely on worksheets, because they can not only become boring if used too much, but they can also be insufficient for the lesson. That's why CHC lesson plans use manipulatives and hands-on activities to provide extra reinforcement and/or to make things a little more interesting.

Particularly in preschool and kindergarten, CHC's lesson plans incorporate multiple hands-on activities. In the younger grades, particularly Prek-1st, it is important to use as many hands-on activities as possible. The developmental age of the child is such that it is important for her to use as many senses as possible when learning.

It is true that the more senses a child uses when learning, the longer she will retain the information. For instance in math, when your child is learning to count, it is important that she see the numbers, touch the felt numbers, say them out loud and move them around. In reading it is helpful if she can form the letters with popsicle sticks, say them out-loud and sing them in a song. The more that she can visualize, the easier it will be for her to remember. So with workbooks and hands-on, it's not a case of either/or, but of both/and!

God bless you and your family!

Laura Nicholson

   
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