Monday, February 24, 2014

Is The Purpose of Learning to Retain?

So, now that we are half the year into our homeschool journey, I ask myself - is Learning Meant to be retained?

My kids have been bombarded with a lot of information. A lot. I mean the boxed curriculum we use is nothing to sneeze at, those DVD teachers leave nothing out.

Not to mention my kids usually get at least 2 quizzes and 1 test every other week in each subject (both the 4th grader and formerly 7th grader [that I skipped a grade] have this schedule)

I've heard other homeschooling moms say it is way too much information.

But my kids hardly ever complained since they did double the work in public/private school and didn't retain much of it.


I've switched things up with my kids and introduced some ways to 'play' and work at the same time.

We've added online math games, reading games, language games and the kids don't even realize that they are LEARNING and RETAINING the information.

However, those tools were selected because they do TEST the kids knowledge to make sure that the method is working for them.


So, I also tried other ways to PLAY and LEARN that the kids explored things they wanted on their own, and we went on tons of field trips where I had them write about it.

But sadly, for my kids, after the event was over, they'd only retained or remembered a portion of the 'point' or learning specific subject matter the 'trip' was supposed to validate.


Well after several trips, play activities and hands on task, I realized for my kids I have to do the following for them to really capture and hold onto that teaching moment.

1) Spell Out - Write out a List of what we are planning on learning
2) Point those things out during the activity
3) Have kid do a project or invest in writing about, reflecting on the activity
4) Go over activity with kid, point out the List of Learning Points
5) Test or Quiz the kid either with a game, or questioning them on their past projects

This way we have a way of (1) pointing out what child should gain from activity (2) seeing if kid retains the important facts of the activity (3) make learning FUN and ACCOUNTABLE



  1. Hi, Jackie here stopping by from the March Let's Homeschool High Blog Hop. So glad you linked up with us.

    Learning can be fun as you have pointed out, and kids definitely remember more when not so stressed. Sounds like you guys are on the right track.

    I look forward to reading your April Blog Hop post.

    Let's Homeschool High School Admin.

  2. Hi, Clicked over from welltrainedmind topic on working while homeschooling. I find that my kids make connections if they have a personal point of reference. Or if immediately after studying a subject there is something on the news or TV about it. This happens often with vocabulary words. I do test in math and science primarily and just let other learning happen without worrying about retention. Maybe I'm just too lax. At the end of the day my priorities are to produce a student who can communicate orally and in writing and can do math enough to do well on college entrance exams. Everything else they can learn when they need to learn it (b/c they can speak and write well :)