I love using workbooks and worksheets, it just helps me feel organised and feel like I am covering everything. And that is why I write so many posts about the workbooks and worksheets that we use and like (I don’t tend to write about the ones that we don’t like). But the truth is a workbook is a workbook, it is a resource that I use to help the kids. But if you don’t get the extra workbook or print out the extra same pages it does not mean your kids are not going to understand.
The most important part of our home education is probably the part that I don’t write about that much. It is me (or their dad) sitting talking, explaining, discussing a topic with the kids. It is that one-to-one or as is often the case in our house one-to-two moments. And they are often not picture perfect. It is often me with messy hair in my PJ’s or a tracksuit on the couch or sitting at the kitchen table with some paper and a pen (and let me be clear is often a messy kitchen because I have put off doing the dishes or half-baked something and then stopped to deal with a question). Our home education mostly happens is a very well-lived house with a bit of chaos around.
I have found the best way to do Maths is me with a kid is at the kitchen table with some paper, pens possibly a maths manipulative or some toys to help with the explanation and I go for it. I write, scribble, draw as I explain and then the kids work through hand-written examples with me next to them to make sure they understand. It is normally after we have done this that we get onto the workbooks or worksheets. But the point is my explanations are often just me, paper and a pen. It does not need to be some fancy looking page for the kids to understand. Often it is the fact that they are involved in the explanation process, sitting there with me, commenting as I draw or redraw something that actually helps them more than a perfect looking page.
The picture below was me explaining ratios to my daughter – nothing fancy but it worked.
When we were looking at forces in Science I actually used some toy cars to demonstrate balanced and unbalanced forces. Again at our kitchen table, no fancy, perfect looking page in front. Just me, some paper, pens and then I grabbed the toy cars that were nearby and it worked.
So yes I love my workbooks and worksheets that we use. I do. I love them. But please don’t ever think that the workbook or worksheet is the be-all. Often a piece of paper, a pen and some basic drawings is just what you need.