Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Written back in September

Last year, I home schooled my son. He was 5. It was kindergarten
work. We did a pretty good job, I think.
This year, I pulled my 10 year old daughter home from a private school.
We began our schooling a week before labor day. I wanted to establish a
routine before we had co-op classes and clubs start.
By the end of our first day, I realized that I was going to have to
re-think what we would be accomplishing this year! I think I forgot
that I can read and understand things much more quickly than my 10 year
old. That is why she is learning! She hates math and history and
reading (except for pleasure) and grammar and religion, but she enjoys
art. I think I have my work cut out for me. I am trying to make her
history more fun by finding books about some of the figures she is
reading about. She looks at these books as "yours, mom, not mine" when
I ask her to read them. I did find some videos at the library that are
about folks like Ben Franklin (did you know he was married?). Sometimes
extracting what she has read from her is like pulling teeth...or cold
taffy. She is so resistant to enjoying what she is reading that it is
mechanical. I hope we can change that this year.
My now 6 year old has been challenging in different ways than his
sister. He is a very energetic boy and a very loud one. He does not
sit still. But he colors beautifully, and he is more than half way
through first grade math. My biggest challenge in dealing with him is
getting him to NOT PESTER his sister. He talks incessantly and sings
and makes all kinds of boy noises. His sister finds this very
distracting, especially if she is reading her history or religion
books. He does periodically say he wants to go to "real" school. We
explained to him that he wouldn't be able to do a lot of the things he
does now...like make noise and get out of his chair...at "real" school.
I think he would be branded as a trouble maker and a "teacher" would
think he was not very smart and he would languish in a classroom. A
teacher in a classroom wouldn't know him like I do. She wouldn't take
the time to encourage his interest in mountain lions today and kitty
cats tomorrow. She wouldn't play in the yard with him and show him the
garter snake hiding in the pile of wood or the grasshopper hopping from
place to place, literally clinging to a single blade of grass. I might
not really like these critters, either, but it is my job, my
responsibility to show my children God's creation and try to instill a
sense of awe and wonder in them.
Only I can help them discover the wonderful world around them and truly
enjoy it. I know them and love them as no "teacher" would or could. I
am thankful for the gift from our Lord. May he bless all of our
homeschooling families this year, and may we learn as much as our children!

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