structuring an academic education of a ten year old

Bringing your kiddo home this fall?

Here are two things you need to consider when beginning homeschooling:

Your goal is to consider what an education is anyway and read about unschooling, deschooling, and learning

I compiled a Homeschool Mama Reading List just for you! These books are ones that have taught me everything that has helped me structure my homeschool.

Structuring a home education for a ten year old: your ten year old and MY ten year old aren’t the same. In fact, I’ve had four ten year olds living in the same family, and they aren’t the same either. So take my suggestions with a grain of salt, but gather ideas.

You can’t teach the same way to each child. They’re different. Your goal is to tailor an education for each of your kids differently.

I’d like to introduce a case study, my ten year old.

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Roald Dahl
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This ten year old gal has a warm smile with dimples: the kind of face people say is cute. She’s heard it so often she doesn’t like to hear it. But there really is something about her that epitomizes cute.

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She is fun.

(It goes with the smile.) She’ll make a game, a cheer, or a song out of everything. Why do something without a party?

You have no energy to spare? A little too tired? She’s got enough energy for all of you. She’s a fun one, so why work, when you can part-ay?

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She is stylin’ and she is creative.

She found a pink leopard print duct tape somewhere and it found its way all over her room in unconventional, yet cleverly-styled ways…a frame around the Selena Gomez poster, on her night table pull, anywhere and everywhere. Left to her own devices, she’ll knit or paint her nails with her nail studio kit, she’ll prepare her room as a spa and charge dollar massages (I won’t tell her that she’s undercharging).

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She is whip smart.

Her kind of smartness translates into the logic and math world: her favourite is strategy games, but though she’s played chess for some time, she’d rather play poker, Bang, or Stratego. I wasn’t expecting to see writing smarts along with math smarts, but she can zip off a cinquain as quickly as her older sisters. She taught herself to whole word read when she was three. So long phonics program–some kids are faster than your compartmentalizing attempt at deciphering the English language.

She likes to learn with others.

She’s not the kind of kid that wants to take the book to her room and read by herself. She likes groups. Even more, she loves an audience. When she performs experiments, she loves to explain the process to her younger brother. She’s got her own YouTube channel and makes her own videos: how to videos on everything from decorating her room to Rainbow Loom tutorials to make up explanations.

She’s a salesgirl, a lawyer, an ad exec.

A charmer. Warm and vivacious. Her goal is to make you happy, and herself.

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Things I’ve learned about teaching this ten year old…

Group work was meant for some kiddos, like this kiddo. She wants to be a contributor. She enjoys the energy of working together. Which means I need to incorporate spelling games into spelling. Poetry turns into a poetry party, everyone sharing their ideas. It means my nine year old teaches my six year old science with her chemistry science kit — yikes!

Rewards and consequences motivate her, but self-directed learning is the most motivating. Some kids are internally motivated for their own satisfaction. And some aren’t. One of the easiest ways to reward is to rotate between the challenging stuff and the fun stuff. Switching back and forth between harder study tasks and easy ones works better with this kiddo. Switching from individual work to group work is useful too. “You need to get these things done before we go to youth group” motivates. Yet, when she’s internally motivated, she gets the most learning.

Just cause she’s four years younger doesn’t mean she can’t engage the same things. Often I’m asked how I can combine subjects like history or current affairs with all four kiddos. Easy: sit in the same room, read to them, then discuss the reading with them. Simple. But how do I differentiate the grades? I don’t. What would be the reason? My nine year old can grapple with much more than a conventional grade four curriculum. A fourteen year old brain isn’t light years from the nine year old. Each of them learn things at their level. Expecting them to read an equivalent age or write the same numbers of words in an essay is unrealistic. They’re all different.

Just because she’s extroverted doesn’t mean she doesn’t need downtime. Probably one of the main disadvantage of a schooled education is that we prescribe every moment of their day and keep them busy at all times. The quote, we are human beings, not human doings. If we want them to process their worlds, they need to experience solitude, explore and create, entirely unprompted by their parents, peers, or screens. Even this extroverted kiddo is a kinder, more contented kiddo when she has personal space each day.

Are you considering homeschooling your kids?

I’ve got a free mini-course that introduces you to me, so I can get you from “I don’t know where to start, to I’ve got a plan.”

I’ve got a full course that inspires you to consider what an education is anyway, and get you thinking and planning for your child’s education.

I’ve got a course that will get you from “I don’t think I can do this, I’m too uncertain, nervous, or afraid” to “I know I can do this, I’ve got this girlfriend.”

How to Homeschool 101 will give you Everything you Need to Know to Get Started, Create a Personalized Education, and Gain Confidence in Creating your Routine.

Or to get you started, here are 19 Tips for new homeschooling families.

Teresa Wiedrick
Teresa Wiedrick

Am I the right fit to coach you in your new homeschooling journey?