Monday, September 15, 2008

A Day In The Life Of A Homeschooler

After twenty minutes of school today, my daughter came out of her room and announced that she was "done school for the day". I chuckled (I couldn't help it) and told her that I didn't think so.

"Aw, mom. Why do I have to do any more school today?" she whined.

"Because you aren't done," was my practical reply. "If I could, Hannah, I would put you in a classroom for a day. It would be a wake-up call for you to see how long the class has to do one subject. How would you like that?" I asked.

"I wouldn't," was her reply.

I asked her to bring me her math. To my pleasant surprise (and really, I shouldn't be surprised by now), she had already completed two lessons, including one test, which she got 100 percent on.

I had planned to get her to work on her spelling and penmanship, but I let it go. This is where I have had to change quite a bit. Hannah and I are very different in this way. I am very text book in my learning and she is not, therefore, I am combining both styles into her curriculum this year. Having her do some text book learning is my security blanket that shows me where she is and ensures me that I am not missing anything. However, I allow her some space for her own creative way of learning - which is sometimes very eccentric - because that's when the sparkle is in her eye. Because of this, she is becoming a self-learner, which is essential if I want her to be able to continue homeschooling through high school (which I do).

She has read 10 Boxcar Children books (on average 90-100 pages each) in 10 days, as well as six new Robert Munsch books, and six other new books (including an Amelia Bedelia grade one reader and two Bill Peet books - he's wonderful!) in that same time period. She devours books. Yes, we have to work on her penmanship, spelling and creative writing in particular, but she is so far ahead in her reading (including comprehension) and math that I cut her some slack today.

Instead, she sat at the kitchen table and asked me to do a puzzle with her. This was not an ordinary puzzle. It was an upside down puzzle (an example of her eccentricity). Yes, my daughter is quite bored with regular puzzles, so she turns the pieces upside down, mixes them up, and puts them together. I am a little ashamed to admit that she is much better at this than I am.

This is the kind of girl I have to teach.

I'm a little afraid that within a couple of years, she'll be giving me lessons.


rrgoff06 said...

Kudos to you, Darla, 'cause God blessed you with bundles more patience than He gave me. I have an extremely slow learner, to whom everything comes with great difficulty, and an extremely fast learner, to whom everything comes with great ease. Then, there's Kyzer- haven't figured him out yet. Having graduated from a church school, I seriously wonder just how much better it was than public school. A lot went on under teachers' noses that shouldn't have, but the teachers never knew. On the other hand, I received the Holy Ghost in devotions one morning. It's a hard decision, and I respect you for what your doing. Way to go!!!

In the Light Photography said...

Awesome! If you need help teaching, I have definately had to learn how to instruct a variety of kidding!

Darla said...

Trust me Rachel G, I do NOT have an abundance of patience (ask my sisters). I know beyond a doubt the real trial will begin when my dear son begins school next year. He is NOTHING like his sister!

My write up on public school teachers was in no way meant for private Christian school teachers - although I do understand things are not perfect there as well.

It's cool you got the Holy Ghost there!

Rachel P - I'm sure I'll be calling you up at some point. At the very least it'll give my brain a break. Thanks for the offer!

Laura said...

I think every family that has more than one child, has the opposite end of the spectrum in the different learning styles. Rachel could mostly sit down, read the instructions and do the work when it came to reading, language arts, writing, etc. Math, on the other hand, was a totally different ball game! Repetition with her and she still has a hard time telling time! lol. Just kidding!

Jenna, I think would've drove the poor teachers nuts those first few years! I mean that, I caught her one day doing her math, counting on her fingers, spinning around in circles, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise. I almost stopped her, then asked myself,"Who is she hurting?" If this is an easier way for her to learn then great.

The greatest benefit (or one of the many), is that, you as a parent can work with your child's strengths and strenghen their weaknesses by working one on one with them. Finding what works best and not making each child learn the same way even if that particular learning style isn't working.

After all, who knows their child better than a responsible parent?

rrgoff06 said...

I wasn't bashing our teachers either-I apologize if it came across that way. They did the best with what they had to work with. I guess I was just saying there's no perfect solution. Everything has its drawbacks, and you have to do what's best for you and your children in your circumstances. My sister-in-law is homeschooling and loves it. I still think homeschooling moms are the bomb.....

Darla said...

Rachel: I really didn't think you were your teachers. I was more concerned that that's how I came across, which is why I clarified that in my comment.

Just clearing the air......