Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Schooling At Home vs Home-Schooling

The light bulb is on!!!!

In my beginning post, as I prepared for this journey, there was all kinds of verbiage about preparing the class room.  I obtained desks, I set up specific learning area and prepared to be in the front of a classroom to tell the girls what they needed to know.

I now have the double easel at the edge of the living room and dinning room to pull around and use as I need it. During paint time I placed that easel in the middle of the kitchen so the paint spills could easily be cleaned up.  The text books and workbooks fill a chair that is usually unused at my table and the leaf extensions of the table are permanently in place.  The walls of the kitchen, in between the decor of the home, have cardboard crayons in the correct corresponding color to match the word and a large home made math chart to reinforce some basic addition facts an rules. 

I have looked at this so far as my failure to maintain structure and control. UNTIL last night!!  I was taken to a broadcast archive in the process of searching, not sure what I was searching for even.  The broadcast was in the archives of September 2010 of Dr. James Dobson. I clicked first on the Sept 1 broadcast and listened to an old interview that Dr. Dobson feels is key to the current home-school movement into the mainstream.  The second one was specifically about home-schooling. 

It was an eye opener into my own evolution so to speak as a teacher of these girls.  Why, just yesterday, before hearing this information, I asked a friend who lives in Texas how far along they were in the lesson plans.  Her view was that it did not matter, that we are a private school and we know what and when is the best time to teach our individual children.

I reflect upon that and imagine being in a traditional setting.  In the public school those who struggle and have qualifying test get to have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Well, well---isn't every child in need of an individual plan to learn.  Every child has common ground that is used to teach them but they all also have their own special way of grasping things, of flourishing to be all they are capable of, and they all deserve and IEP.

We tend to teach in the method that we are most familiar with. For me that is the public school method but as a parent I saw and learned the flaws of that method. Being the grandparent who is teaching I feel then that I am specially qualified to recognize the individual needs, I use to anguish over it when my own children were in the PS system. However, the broadcast explains that for many, like myself, there is eventually a shift from schooling your child at home to the true homeschooling experience.

I know I will never completely get rid of the standard style workbook and prepared lesson plans as they are an excellent guide for me.  Perhaps being a nurse has helped me to evolve quickly to a homeschooling environment.  Nurses learn and practice a "nursing process" which calls for the formulation of objectives, interventions and evaluation for each individual health-care issue. After twenty-six years that process is now second nature and guides me unknowingly in other matters of my life.  Perhaps that is how I managed to evolve to the homeschooling level so quickly.

The plans for the week (and the next few) involve a large amount of my "off curriculum" as we begin our first lap-book lesson that will intertwine a daily account of things to be thankful for, Thanksgiving, Native Americans, map skills locating Europe and Plymouth--in the process there will also be recognition of numbers in numerical configuration along with written language: a discussion of trust and honor: religious freedom: how hard work is needed to prepare for the future---in the simple example of preparing food to make it through a winter.  Gee I can go on and on as I feel the excitement of taking on the homeschooling mentality to its most rich fulfillment. 

Today, after a little math and writing, we will wander into our woods.  I will take them into a world of learning through imagination and exploration. 

I am so blessed!!!!!!!!!!