The letter U proved a bit of a mental stretch for me with regards to the Blogging Through the Alphabet series I’m enjoying alongside fellow homeschool bloggers online.
I considered devoting this post to my kids’ many uncles (they would not appreciate this), or bestie Christy’s gimpy ulna, or our ardent opposition to the use of umbrellas here in Oregon. Eventually, I landed on understanding as the logical option as it’s one of the foundational tenets of our homeschool.
When I say understanding, I suppose what I actually mean is comprehension… as in my kids’ grasp of a given concept or subject. A major perk of having a three to one student/teacher ratio is that we simply don’t proceed from a lesson or concept without darn near close to 100% mastery (age appropriate mastery, obvi) on the topic.
It’s not that I demand my pupils be walking encyclopedias, or the next Ken Jennings Jeopardy prodigy (though if the shoe fits…). I’m not a militant Drill Sargent; rather, we take our time and ensure that literally NO CHILD IS LEFT BEHIND before moving on with the curriculum. If a subject takes us a bit longer than the syllabus predicts? Fine! If we breeze through it faster? No problem. I’m the boss of this here homeschool! Generic coursework is customized and paced for genuine and sound understanding.
Take spelling: If one of the girls happens to miss a spelling word come test day they get it again the following week. Instead of 21 words they’ll have 22. It’s not punishment, it’s no big deal. (Coincidentally, this hardly ever happens– after four days of simple spelling exercises, far more often than not they score 100% on their end-of-the-week quiz.)
So in our homeschool, as a guiding principle, U is for uber, ultimate, unwavering, unconditional Understanding.