Bones -n- Gristles
Being Outside

A clear idea

One of the things that's constantly on my mind is homeschooling. Or unschooling. Or some sort of combination of the two. We think V will be a really good candidate for unschooling (though, truthfully, we think all children are) because she is such the go-getter. If she has a question, she needs an answer. And we're happy to help her when she needs it and happy to let her figure it out when she doesn't.

At 4.5, V has been reading for a good year now. I don't think I could say that I taught her to read exactly. I was always better in English class than math or science. R tells me he learned to read in daycare when he was 3. So, genes? All I know is that we've been talking about letters and the sounds they make and the sounds at the beginning/end/middle of words and what words mean and what they look like since before she could possibly understand. But we've never pushed, it's always a fun thing. So now she can read. This is very helpful in the car on trips to see the grandparents - especially since we've been through 2 DVD players now (so annoying).

But just because she can read, doesn't mean she always understands what she reads. And it doesn't mean that she writes. Or that she's doing calculus. She's a regular 4-year-old kid. But still, it's exciting. Because she's fresh. She has no preconceived notions of what learning should be like. If she decides she likes worksheets, we'll get her worksheets. But if not, that's A-Ok with me. There is always another way to learn something.

Yesterday my MIL gave us these bookshelves. They're in the playroom now - which is also where my computer is and I'm guessing the formal homeschooling area of the house. Though I'm sure the actual learning will take place all over, it'll be nice to have a place for the books, pencils, paper, etc.

V set the books on top of the shelves to look like our local library. I have a really hard time not buying every single book I think might interest her, in addition to the ones she wants. So we have a lot. And I want ever-more. Thank goodness for the library!

homeschool 001

I finally have a clear idea for this room. I'd like a twin mattress to use as a daybed/guest bed. Also a chair or loveseat. A lamp or three. A proper desk for my computer. One day I want these shelves as well. And I super-de-duper want this wall map.

homeschool 002

I truly think one of the greatest perks of homeschooling must be doing it how you want to do it, how it works best for your family. Like having a ($5 from a local thrift store! woot!) Hello Kitty table as your desk. And having Movie Fridays. And filming science experiments to post on the internet (one day soon, I hope). Daytrips to roadside historical sites. Or whatever we feel like doing. I found The Organic Sister blog the other day and have been reading it from now to the beginning. While I sometimes wish we could just pack it up and head out, I don't see this happening. But that's what Tara and her family have done and I'm enjoying reading about it. Knowing what I know about school from my own experience (and believe me when I say that this is just the tip of my iceberg), reading what I've read about it, and (so far) feeling the relaxed attitude and yet constant learning that goes on with my own child, I have to say I feel pretty lucky to live in this age of the Internet and all the resources that are available to us.

Just wanted to say that.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

rachel whetzel

I love Tara!! Her family will be coming to Oregon and HOPEFULLY will be making a stop at our place!! LOVE the shelves!! So full of promise!

AForestFrolic

I have thought about home-schooling too...it seems my oldest has soooo much homework (that I see as busy work). And why? We'd rather be doing family activities and fun things for the kids after school, ugh. And my 5 year old starts kindergarten this year! I think it would be lovely to teach them here!

I'm going to check out that blog, it looks fun!

So have you decided? Are you home-schooling or just throwing around the idea?

Jamie :)

Camille

Great post - I read it after reading this
http://rhythmofthehome.com/summer-2010/slow-family-soccer-mom/
and it all makes me go hmmm... I wonder...

Sosae Caetano

Wow, Maya! I'm so proud of you guys! It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to homeschool a child. And your homeschooling area looks lovely! Very inviting... I checked out Tara's blog last week when you suggested it. What is unschooling? I never got a clear definition of it...

kim

Good job - your adventure is off to a great start! :)

sheri

I love the idea of unschooling! You know, your little pumpkin has always been advanced. Remember that video of her with the letter puzzle when she was little? I was in awe of that!

Kelly

I believe V would thrive doing home schooling! You adjust beautifully to her whims, allowing each one to become a learning opportunity. Traditional schooling would make her conform in many ways to the whole groups needs and speed. She might enjoy the whole group atmosphere, but would bog down quickly at the structured learning times. Just by your blog posts I thought that you would be a great homeschooling family.

Oh, there are so many advantages! I have home schooled my 2 girls 10 years now and just graduated my eldest. It is great knowing that you can focus more on what V needs, and not what the teacher needs. Take it slow & simple, don't make things formal (doesn't look like you could with V anyway!) and be relaxed. Kids can sense when you are uptight about schooling and soon become uptight, too.

Home schooling the little ones is SO fun! Reading a book about a small Chinese boy and how he lives. Finding China on the map a couple of times, (you have to show Daddy and Grandma where it is!) then having take out Chinese (to see what he would have eaten!) is the BEST way to learn geography and reinforce learning. These will be things both of you will remember forever.

If I may, I would suggest that you look at Sonlight Curriculum. It is excellent for children like ours that can soak it in; we have used it for years and love it! You can get a free catalog and write down the books you want to read to V and head to the library to get a vast majority of what you need at this point. A child that has a love to read will constantly be learning. :-) Just go to my blog http://www.lifeinmountjoy.blogspot.com and there is a link to Sonlight there down at the bottom.

I will be looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming adventures!

Amber

I loved reading this post. Even though Stormy is only a year old, my husband and I talk about homeschooling her all the time. She is already so bright, I just cant see sticking her with a bunch of other kids who may not be at her level. Eric and I were so fustrated going to school all of those years because we were never challenged in any grade or class. That makes a kid think learning and school is boring when it should be fun and exciting. I have never heard the term unschooling until you mentioned it so I looked it up (I love the internet too). what an awesome concept! I think that is the best way for any child to learn! I will definately tell hubby about it!

I love the hello kitty desk by the way! I'm sure V loves it too!

Natalie

This sounds like a good adventure. I will stay tuned and maybe unlearn a thing or two. ;)

Alexis

I so wish I had the patience and the energy to homeschool! I may still do it when the girls hit middle school, because I think that middle school is the most horrible thing ever invented.

If there are any resources you need, please let me know, because I am like Corporal Klinger from MASH, and I can find anything anywhere!

The comments to this entry are closed.