Monday, April 6, 2009

pardon this really wordy post about my son, schooling and other random thoughts on life

One day last week Tristan brought me a math workbook he found tucked in the back of the cabinet. I had purchased the book and then decided it was too advanced for him but when did something being labeled "too advanced" ever stop a kid from trying it? He was determined. I really didn't feel up to the task of patiently explaining math concepts over and over to one child while another was screaming to paint her tummy and another was screaming for mama's milk. I assumed the activity would only yield frustration and failure (and a painted toddler. and a gassy baby.) Honestly, I was thinking a nap sounded like a better idea.
Reluctantly, I gave in, spending a minimal amount of time instructing before leaving him to his numbers for what I thought would be a short lived activity. After
nearly an hour of contented work at the table with an abacus and a chocolate smencil, Tristan had completed one page of addition problems. They were all correct. Well I'll be.



I felt a little guilty about my attitude towards Tristan's desire to learn that day. For some reason, I translated his request as one for structure, planning, teaching...you know, school. In reality, the only thought in his head was, "Hey cool, numbers! Let's do it!" Kenna wanted to paint, Kate wanted to eat, Tristan wanted to do math. Simple as that.
It got me thinking a lot about my plans to home school next year. I've been researching a curriculum, talking to home schooling friends, organizing the house, planning what we will read and do and learn, worrying about my ability to teach them. All this fuss -some important, some not so much. What is important is the fact that I have three little natural learners in my house. They are curious and excited about the world around them and don't see learning as a structured process or chore or requirement but simply what they do all the time. My hope is that they will never come to see school as something to just get done so we can go play. My hope is that our play will encourage learning and our learning will be full of play. I have a lot of thoughts about home school swimming around in my head so I'm going to stop before this post gets really out of hand (but be prepared to hear more on this soon when I've organized my brain a bit more).
For now, check out that green button over there for the Summer Unschool project. Maybe some of you will want to play along as well.
Now that I've taken the time to ramble so much I probably have one of these to clean up...

And if you stuck around to read all of this you may have one yourself.

11 comments:

  1. I'm very excited about your thoughts of educating your kids from home.

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  2. Fun to see Tristan enjoy learning! I can imagine his mom and dad's energy level and endurance will be tested over the next 14-16 years! d

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  3. Seeing Kenna in her full-body-paint made me think she is immitating her aunt Lisa rather than following after her own mom's example! d

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  4. I am very excited that you're going to HOMESCHOOL! :)

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  5. Oooooooohh! What an exciting adventure! I know there are all seasons for types of schools and I am (now) a form believer that even in a family, each child will go through different seasons of what will fit them best - public school, private school, Christian school, homeschool, a mix of homeschool and private ... it has been thrilling to see lives of people who admire and trust go through those seasons, so I am now excited to see how it will pan out for you all. And remember ... if He calls you, you ARE able!

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  6. I'm excited to see that you'll be homeschooling. We're several years away from making those decisions... and while I'm pretty sure I personally don't have the endurance to do it, I have a great deal of respect and enthusiasm for my friends who do. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences with it.

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  7. I look forward to reading your ideas and experiences with homeschooling. I drop in on your blog from time to time via Barb's, and I really enjoy it. I'm planning on homeschooling Mia and I am having similar experiences to yours. I was humoring her when she wanted to write her letters, thinking I would pretend there was an A there... only there really was! And other letters too. Not sure how that happened!

    Excited about your future writings on this adventure!

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  8. Thanks all for your comments and encouragement!
    I'm looking forward to the journey and right now I'm really enjoying all the blogger moms out there with so much wisdom and great ideas to share.

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  9. THIS is AMAZING!! I love it. LOVE especially, that last picture.

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  10. My little girl has been taking pride in painting herself, too. (She's almost 2). I wish she would have painted herself that much, though, so I could have gotten a picture as good as the one you got of yours...

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