Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I just figured something out...

So, I have forever been really hard on myself for the way I homeschool (or ... don't). But not enough to send my children back to the big building down the road. Today I was enlightened while talking to my daughter. 

My 3rd grader has been trying to get in the habit of writing letters. Or rather, I have been trying to get her in the habit of writing letters :-) And I did not really know why until today. She FINALLY wrote to her pen pal Peter (his mommy's blog can be found here) and wanted to mail it off. But as I was looking over it, I asked her if I could keep it for a day and she could mail it tomorrow. I want to make a copy of it. Of course she asked why.

SSSSOOOOOOOO we got to have a discussion...

"I want to make a copy of it so that I can have record of your progress." Which did not make any sense to her (and not a whole lot to me either now that I come to think about it) So I started backtracking ... trying to figure out why I want to have a copy of the letter for myself... "Well, baby, you have improved so much in your penmanship and composition over the last year. I love how good you have gotten at it, but I want to see where you have come from. You give all you letters away and I don't get to compare." Now she felt very proud, but still did not understand why I want to be able to compare...

It was then that I realized (and explained) why I want her to write letters....

I HATED school!!! I hated the meaningless work... the papers that I spent so much time on, just getting thrown away... the busywork.

That explains why I do not assign it to my "students". I would so much rather them learn from things that they will use later on in life...

I told my little girl what the skills were that she was working on in her letter. (Penmanship, Composition, Comprehension, and time lines) and the different ways that I would have to teach her those concepts if it was not in the form of a letter... (copywork, Essays, summaries, and well, time lines)  How much time those assignments would take... how much "grading"... how many tears... I do not want to do that! I do not want her to do that!  I would so much rather have her WANT to write a letter to her friend. :-)

That is when it occurred to me... That is why my "school" does not look like so many others. We do not do very much sit down and busy work... we just go through life and learn as we go.

We bake alot... We have allowances and budgets... we read from the bible every night at dinner and talk through the passages (currently Romans... we have made it half way into the 3rd chapter and have been working on if for like 2 months) We have a Websters 1828 dictionary that we go to when we need clairification (all day long) We spend time with people and imagine ourselves in their shoes. There is probably more that we do in the way of learning, but I do not keep very good track of it because it is just the way we live... it is not... school.

I guess you could say that we just work on the skills that we want our children to have when they are outside of our house, and soak as much "learning" as possible from that.

Baking - following directions, math, problem solving, improvisation
Allowances - work ethic, team work, home economics, responsibility, accountability, math, justice
Budgeting - money value, division, percentages, tithing, responsible spending, the value of saving, giving
Bible reading - reading, vocabulary, research, listening, letting the other kids have input, theology, apologetics, root words, world view
Dictionary - research, vocabulary, tenses, word roots, suffixes, prefixes
People - empathy, treating others like we would want to be treated, how to behave in public, how to be gracious (so many people do not behave the way my children have been taught is right... the question of "fair" has come up ALOT)

Anyway... All said and done, she gave me permission to make a copy of her letter :-)

Well, that was my insight for the day :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment