Today I am going to be walking you through five days of special training on this series that I am calling from Behind to Learning Progress. So if you are homeschooling your children and any of your children are actually behind in any of their mechanics of learning, I'm talking about like reading and writing, then I wanna encourage you to take some time to go through this series.

This episode is brought to by Wholesome Thinkers.

I have been coaching homeschooling moms since 2018. And in my experience, I have found that at least one child in every family is behind in either reading, writing, arithmetic, and in thinking. That is causes a lot of stress on Mama. It causes a lot of stress of making sure that there's progress before those end of year testing.

I cannot wait to help you make those progresses necessary to show on the end of year just how hard your children have worked and how far they've come.

I was a kindergarten teacher back prior to having children and I had taught 20 children how to read as well as our first child when we started homeschooling. Yet I couldn't figure out how to get my second child to actually learn to read.

Knowing my abilities and how smart our child was in everything else really caused me to assume that the curriculum was the problem.

I began to blame the curriculum.

I tried many different reading curriculums over the period of three years. It became a constant thing for me. If we were not seeing instant progress, I was looking for that next curriculum to see if I could find that magic curriculum for our son.

During this time, I created a problem because with every change that I had made, what ended up happening is that our son became more convinced that he was the problem. When he was becoming more convinced that he was the problem, I began to believe I, too, was the problem.

We both began losing confidence in our ability to learn and to teach. I don't know if you can relate to it, but that's not a very good thing for a homeschooling mother or a homeschooling child to ever get to that point.

If you are experiencing that, I want you to understand, I know I've been there, I've done that, and my heart is to help you to avoid it as much as possible if you've not experienced it yet. But also to help you to see what this common mistake is so that you can avoid it and more importantly, correct it if you're making it.

Before I get started, I want you to know that it wasn't until our son was 16 years of age when I would say that he was reading well, well enough for me to breathe well enough for him to be able to be completely independent in all of his schoolwork and him feeling confident in his assignments. So with that, I did not realize until I came across an article in a Homeschool magazine that outlined dyslexia. It was the first time I heard anything about what dyslexia was by a checklist.

As I went through that checklist, I had checked off every one of those marks for our son. I began to cry because I realized this was why I wast able to correct him. This is why all of those curriculum changes were not working for us,
is that there was an underlining problem.

Now, if you feel like your child is having learning challenges don't let it stop you from understanding that you can in fact teach your child.

I know I have, I have two dyslexic children,
both of which are really good at their reading levels, and it took us a while to, while to get them there.

What I'm going to teach over these next five days will help you even if your child's dyslexic or have other learning challenges.

#1 Mistake: Changing Curriculum For Mechanics Of Learning

The number one thing that I want you to avoid at all cost is changing curriculum for the mechanics of reading,
writing, arithmetic, and thinking. 

Now, what I want you to understand is that if you have curriculum that is just not interesting, your children and your children already know those mechanics, those are the things that you should be changing and making sure your child's aligned with that ability.

But the problem is we make so many curriculum changes over the mechanics of teaching our children. 

Now, if you are like me making those changes consistently or or becoming habitual at changing your curriculum like I did when I first started out and couldn't get my child to read, I want you to know that those changes actually were hindering progress because every time I made a change, his confidence decreased, my confidence decreased, and more importantly, we had to start over.

If I was making those change the first couple weeks, there wasn't a big problem. However, if I was making those changes three or six months, and yes, I've done three and six months changes, then it's like we're starting all over again. And that loss of momentum is really detrimental to your child's psychology of learning as well as the overall emotions of your Homeschool.

So let me help you understand a few of the curriculums that I would give a thumbs up to.

Abeka is what I taught in the Christian school as a kindergarten teacher and all of the children excelled. Well, out of 20 children, half of the half of the students were above grade grade level. They were reading at a third grade level at the end of the year. The other the other nine were reading at grade level or just above meaning, they were ready for first grade or perhaps second grade reading level. There was one child who just did not have the support at home that was not reading enough to move into first grade, but he had progressed enough for him to be reading some, but not to be able to have confidence re moving into first grade.

Abeka is definitely one that I would give my thumbs up for. It is very structured, so it's one that you wanna make sure that you have your schedule planned out.

And the same thing as Bob Jones. I taught our first child how to read with using Bob Jones. I wanted something a little less structured. Bob Jones was a little bit like that, but still quite structured. If you need structure Abeka or Bob Jones works really well now, they were not working for my son or because he wasn't showing the progress of my daughter,

I went ahead and switched with Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons.

Even though that helped him make some progress, meaning that he was really good at understanding how to do the three sounds together, he wasn't progressing much with bigger words. And so for me, I don't feel that's enough lessons, especially for dyslexic children or those who have other learning challenges. Now, I will say that I used it to teach our third child and he learned how to read really well from the 100 easy lessons, but he did not have any learning challenges that was stopping him like dyslexia.

I made a horrible mistake in one of my curriculum choices, and that was Spelled To write and Read. I highly recommend you avoid that curriculum completely unless you have a child who's already reading and reads well and you want to make sure they understand the concepts of the rules and how the English language is spelled out. That actually increased my ability as a speller, as well as our first child as a reader. But it really hindered and caused a lot of conflict for our child with dyslexia because it required them to spell without really seeing the picture of the word. So if you cannot see a a word in your mind, the chances of you being able to spell it without studying it is going to be slim to none.

I recommend the Spell To Write and Read to really just be to help a child learn how to spell better, but not to read.

So what do I recommend? Well, I'm going to tell you about the one that I use to really help our children move forward. That curriculum is All About Reading.

What I love about all About reading is that it actually has a lot of hands-on elements, meaning that my dyslexic children loved being able to use the hands-on to actually learn to read as well as the beautiful books that go along with it. They really loved them and it helped them to progress pretty quickly.

If you have a child who's behind, go ahead and start there. Now, once your child learns the basic of phonics and can do easy words, I encourage you to just step right into books. Books are the best way for your children to learn to read. In fact, our last child, our fourth child, has been able to progress much faster because we jumped into books faster.

Once we learned the mechanics of what it is to read the phonics and the multiphonics, once we got there, we went right into books faster than we did with our other children. So I would encourage you that to do that.

#2 Mistake: Not Knowing the Stages of Transitions

Knowing the stages of transition for your four mechanics of learning and teaching them repetitively until they have been retained and mastered is the key. It is the secret to making sure you're progressing in the mechanics of learning.

Now, what I mean by the mechanics of learning is those four things: reading, writing, arithmetic, and thinking.

If you can teach your children those stages of transitions, meaning that they must learn this and then learn this in a stage where you're teaching one thing after the other, what's going to happen is you're going to teach in a way that you avoid the gaps of learning in the mechanics that is required for a child to be able to pick up anything and learn it completely on their own.

Without these four mechanics of learning, you're gonna have to sit next to your child time and time again for years in order for them to become independent in learning and have those habits necessary for the brain to work and to learn.

For those of you who are like, okay, I don't know those mechanics of learning, and I don't know what it those stages are of transition, I have a kit all created to help you to be able to understand those stages of transition and how to use them for the mechanics, the milestones and momentum and progress. I call those the Homeschool Progress Kit. That is a special price right now. So you can go ahead and grab that and get all fixed, not only with that, but a whole lot of other things like struggling learners and understanding confidence baseline, which is imperative in order for your child to show progress. These are the places that most Homeschool moms get stuck because they don't understand them.

They don't have the experience like I have of teaching multiple children at one time and understanding those stages. When I was a kindergarten teacher, I recognized that my 20 kids were learning at different speeds, and I did not have a teacher assistant at the time. So I had to go to the principal and say, “Hey, can I break up this class into designed, especially handpicked groups for them to be able to learn at their pace?”

This is how I made sure that I got kids going and progressing into reading at grade three levels when they got done with kindergarten as well as kids who were ready for first and second grade levels. It was a mix of them and they were in my second one. And then I had a mix of children who just learned enough to be able to move into 1st grade, save the one child. When I went and explained to the principal of what I'm seeing, the children who were really learning needed to keep learning at a faster pace or there needed to be a slower pace for those who were really struggling and then to keep the curriculum going for those who are in the middle.

I put my knowledge as a teacher into the stages of transition inside the Homeschool Progress kit.

The Homeschool Progress Kit helps homeschool mom identify and avoid gaps in reading, writing, math, and thinking.

#3 Mistake: Not Being Patient With the Pace Of Learning

The third thing I wanna teach you today is the key to keeping you patient when your child is behind.

I'm going to tell you the truth, it can become ugly for a mom's habits when her child is behind. She's feeling the stress of the public school system and testing and the criticism from family members and neighbors.

When your children are becoming embarrassed because they're just not knowing what they should know based by the other children of their age, it can really become a testing time for moms.

That anxiety inside of us can easily be passed to our children when we're not seeing instant progress.

I know for me it became a struggle because, and I'm sure you can relate, I also had a younger child that was, that I had to tend to. I had the cares of a little one on top of a child who needed my help moving forward a little faster, and then this struggling learner that I couldn't understand how to get him going.

During that time, my patience was wearing thin.

I repeated the lessons with a child.

We had repetition time and time again.

It wasn't working and it was really trying my patience.

So when I say to you that there is a key to keeping your patients in the process of your child being behind, let me tell you that I know because I've lived it and I understand the struggle in the process.

Here's what I want you to understand.

Charlotte Mason wrote something that has made a difference in how I look at my children, rather they're progressing or rather they're behind or right where they're supposed to be.
It's this statement that knowledge is the result of a slow, involuntary process, impossible to a mind in the critical attitude.

A slow involuntary process…

And we, as moms, live in this society where we need things instantly is what's causing us to have this anxiety when we already know what's expected of us as Homeschool educators, but also when we see our children falling behind and we just really don't know what to do differently,

We blame it on the curriculum, we make all these changes, the child then gets into the cycle of losing confidence and not making the progress. Then they feel like they're disappointing us and then they feel stupid and incapable. I mean, I can't even begin to tell you the hurt I had when my son had a breakdown during a lesson.

Let me just give you this key to knowing how to do it.

Expect it to take a year to show progress.

If you immediately start the school year with this concept that there's going to be only a little bit of progress by the end of the year, you've gone ahead and set yourself up for understanding that progress is a slow and voluntary process, and it requires repetition commitment to being consistent.

It requires loving your children in their difficulty times.

It requires you being intentional about their assignments, making sure that it's within their confidence baseline that you're assigning for them.

Charlotte Mason said, “We should never give a child a lesson that they are not capable of doing.”

I made that mistake so many times I would give my children books that they had no understanding of how to actually read those books.

That just caused more frustration for the child, and more anxiety for me.

But when I met my child at the confidence baseline of their for them in that moment, for that part of the year, what ended up happening is their confidence grew so fast, their skill improved, and then when their skill improved, their speed improved.

And so with that, we saw progress with confidence.

I want you to realize, and this is the key here, you set yourself up for understanding. It's gonna take a year to get your child from behind, and it needs to become the main focus of your school year.

Whatever mechanic your child is behind in, that's where you should be focused.

Let me just solve that question for you.

If your child's behind in reading, nothing else matters, okay?  That's where reading is. If your child's behind in writing, but they already know how to read, that's where it is. If your child is behind in math, you need to work on thinking with arithmetic so that they understand.

Most children who are behind is not because they can't memorize the facts, because they don't know how to use those facts in word problems. Their mind is not able to think through what to use when.

You've gotta slow down and you've gotta give yourself a year to fix what's broken so it works by the end of the year. All right?

So you're gonna slow down and you're gonna give yourself that per permission to take it slow.

But in doing it, this is where you need to show up. You need to show up to encourage your children when there's something new or difficult. We do not do this enough as homeschooling moms. We did this for all of our children. This is how they've learned how to walk and talk, how they learned to potty train.

We used encouragement and praise to help them.

When there is something new or difficult, you begin to encourage your child. However, when we see forward progress and only forward progress, even if it's the smallest, we then begin to praise our children for the effort they put in and the momentum that they're having.

Now, I talk a lot about that inside the Homeschool Progress kit, so it'll help you to understand how to do that.

But what I want to make sure you understand is that when we show up to our children like we did when they were little and they were learning the difficult skills of language, and they were learning the difficult skills of movement, we showed up and we encouraged them and we praise them along the way.

Use that in your homeschooling, and you're going to see progress just because the child is going to become encouraged by you and they're going to want to be able to move you forward.

This special training is actually a challenge, and I have a challenge task for you.

Your challenge task is to identify the gaps in your child's education and fill it with the stages of transition for that mechanics.

Now, you might already understand this, you might have so many years underneath your belt and you just needed to be reminded that every mechanics has stages.

You start with step one, and you go into two, into three, and you don't move forward until those things are learned. So if you have that knowledge, take a breath and breathe and be able to identify the gaps.

When I say fill in the gaps, these are things a child cannot do on their own.

So if they come across a word multiple times and they cannot do that word on their own, that's a gap.

I want you to become very skilled identifying the gaps so that you can fill it based on the stage of transition.

Now, I'm gonna remind you, you can go ahead and have it all done for you inside the Homeschool Progress Kit, or let me help you get started with some free posters.

Solve learning challenges guide and poster set will help the homeschooling mom know how to get her kids to show progress in their learning.

The FREE Solve Learning Challenges Guide & Poster Set are gonna help you to understand how to influence your kids to show progress, even if they're really behind.

These posters will help you do that. You'll know how to exactly structure your lessons to overcome the struggles in learning.

I'm gonna tell you what is on that one poster I've never taught, not even to my clients. So if you're a client and you're listening, make sure you get the posters.

If you just can't get the kit, get the poster set to get started. This is not the step-by-step. These are the key things you need to be doing as a homeschooling mom to help you understand how to identify those gaps. And then the third poster is gonna help you motivate your kids to love learning. And that's a step-by-step tried and proven path that I have used with my struggling learners to get them motivated, to want to learn, and they ended up loving learning because of it.

So go ahead and get your three poster sets absolutely free.

Now, I am so excited about this five day series that I am doing for you because it's going to help you start the school year where you're focused completely on progress. And that is so important.

We don't want you to wait until the end of the year and think and stay up late at night because you're just knowing your kids are behind and they're not gonna test.

Well, let's not have that kind of experience again.

Let's start this school year thinking about progress from the beginning. You've done the plans. Now it's time to think about how to use those plans to progress.