Friday, February 12, 2010

The reticent homeschooler

When we moved out of the city into the middle-of-nowhere we had a 2 year old and a baby.  School was the farthest thing from my mind.  My single solitary goal most days was to get a shower.  Alone.   I was privileged to go here, and my view of elementary education has been skewed by places like this. There's nothing even similar within driving distance of where we'd chosen to park ourselves. 

All that to say my decision to home school has been an evolving one.   Like most everyone, who values their sanity the thought of spending all day, everyday with my kids with no break in sight didn't do much to entice me.  Especially since Mainbain was traveling 3-5 nights a week for business.  Having been homeschooled for 3 years myself, my accute awareness of the uber-nerdy homeschooler stereotype didn't exactly fuel my teaching fire.  

My super wise mother enlightened me one day by pointing out I was already homeschooling.  Stringbain was 4 years old and everytime he asked a question I answered, or showed him how to do something new, he was learning.  I was already his teacher.  It occurred to me that what intimidated me was my perception of teaching.   The 8-3 behind the desk or standing at a chalkboard deal.  I'm more of a couch or kitchen table kind of girl.

As I flirted with the idea that I was already doing IT, the idea of IT became much more reasonable.  Every time we baked cookies together, he was learning.  Every time we walked to the barn and he noticed something new and we talked about it, he was learning. Every time we went grocery shopping and we talked about prices and money, he was learning.  Yes, he did some writing assignments and yes, teaching him to read was ridiculously hard challenging. 

Time passed and I did become more and more overwhelmed by doing IT all myself.  While I adore math, when I teach it I become a Nazi - that took about a month to work out.  We were blessed with a Teacher who volunteered to take over math for me.  It's been an ever-evolving process, and I'm always looking for ways to expand and grow their daily schooling.  They just started a yoga class this morning and we have a co-op for one subject and a math tutor.  I feel like they are being given the best I can offer considering our particular circumstances. 

At the end of the day-week-month-quarter-semester and my stint as their teacher, I want them to love learning.  I want them to be explorers and adventurers, in the world as well as their own minds. I'm working hard to give them that opportunity.

For now that's as good as my homeschooling philosophy gets.

PS - check the new tab to see what resources DO fuel my learning fire!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this post. I can't wait to join the ranks of the uber-nerdy homeschool set. Oh, wait! I am uber-nerdy, anyway. Well, you make homeschooling seem cool sans denim jumpers and waist-length hair. Thanks for inspiring me!


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