Those are some of my most used responses to questions we get from those who don't homeschool. The one most often used is "No, it's not always easy." When you live in a rural community, homeschooling can be looked at in many ways. Sometimes people think we are religious zealots. Sometimes people think we are hippie freaks. Sometimes...well sometimes, we're just labeled "diff'urnt" (yes I misspelled on purpose. You really gotta know the accent around here, lol). I don't mind those assumptions, not really. What really bugs me is when people assume that it's easier for my kids because they aren't in a "normal" school.
We use Time4learning as our homeschool curriculum and we are very happy with it. Even so, we struggle with certain subjects and concepts (just as many kids do in their school setting), and we need a little help making those concepts stick. It's even more aggravating when it's something that, as adults, we take for granted. One of those concepts for us was contractions.
How many of you had to pause and think of the definition of a contraction? ;)
Bailey understands the definition of "don't" and "I'm" and "aren't" and the like. But it can be difficult to teach contractions. While I just know how to make a contraction out of "you will" and "does not," the rules of where to put the apostrophe and which letters to omit have to be learned. You can forget that when it's something you've known for a while.
If I keep drumming something into his head by way of only writing it down or only reading about it, I think he rejects it out of spite, lol. But, he has a weakness...he loves to play games. More importantly he loves to WIN games! If there is no "win" or "lose" option, then simply getting everything right suits him. So one of things that helped reinforce what he was learning was playing contraction games. Even at an older age, playing a game didn't equate to "studying" something. When the concept finally clicked for him, it was funny to see him realize just how many contractions he used in his everyday vocabulary without consciously thinking about it!
Am I ashamed that I would take a weakness of my child's and exploit that weakness to suit my teaching needs? NOPE. I got over stuff like that a long time ago, lol. It didn't take long for me to realize that I needed to grab on to whatever worked, even if whatever worked for me wasn't what others would do!