So, I was quickly reminded why I don’t like belonging to on-line homeschooling groups. In the small amount of groups that I do belong to, there has been huge new member growth. I rarely answer questions. Instead, I use them more for informational purposes. Sometimes though, I read a post that reminds me of where I once was when first starting out homeschooling.
In a particular post, a mother sounded desperate for help to get her son reading. Usually, the posts are very vague in details, in this case it was the age (discovered later to be 8). However, having a child that did not care too much for reading, and still doesn’t really (Me, have a child that doesn’t like to read?), I thought to lend some helpful advice.
For starters, I honestly could care less whether a person uses my advice or not. I do however, get a little peeved when a parent sees the problem to be only with their child, and doesn’t see that the problem could be with their approach, and uses words like “pointless” to describe what you just recommended. I mean after all, “this approach” has been done successfully for years, how could it possibly be wrong? It must be my child.
I blame the internet really, it is filled with tons of homeschooling blogs trying to sell you their way. This approach over here, says television, or “screens”, bad (Been there, done that). That approach over there, says “twaddle”, bad (Yep, been there too.). Thing is, if it wasn’t for “screens”, or “twaddle”, it would have been much, much, much harder for my children to *want* to learn to read. How could this, or that blog, know how your child learns best? I, only know what works best for us.
The little advice I do give out to newbies, is observe your child, each one individually. Forget “school” lessons for now, get to personally know what makes your child tick. What makes them smile, what makes them cry, what makes them excited beyond belief? In order to do this, you will need to expose your children to other, sometimes “pointless” things than what you, yourself just enjoy. You will need to step outside of your comfort zone.
The best advice I ever received, that finally set me on the right path, was that my child is not me. No, one person, has all the answers. Parenting, and homeschooling became much easier, once I stopped thinking that I did.
I am so thankful for Junie B’s “horrible grammar”, Twilight, and “pointless” video games. 🙂
This week, we read Peter Pan (found free for Kindle at Amazon). Where the girls loved the “classic”, The Adventures of Alice In Wonderland, the girls detested Peter Pan and could not wait for it to end. “How could anyone be a fan girl of Peter Pan? He is creepy, this whole story is creepy !”
After reading it, and doing a little research, I don’t think the story was intended for children. I believe, from what I read, someone enjoyed reading about Peter Pan from one of Barrie’s adult novels, and wanted to make it into a play. The book was then released after the success of the play.
I wanted to read the story, so the girls could get an understanding of different make believe worlds. (Oz, my favorite, will be soon.)
We read while listening to the dramatic audio reading from LibriVox (another way to get a child interested in reading), the narrator is a friend of ours, and is homeschooled.
We also continued reading Punctuation.
The girls copied the poem, A Fairy Song by William Shakespeare.
dale, brier, pale (and discussed why we thought Shakespeare used this particular word as a description), sphere, orbs, cowslips, pensioners, savours, dewdrops, plantation
The girls warmed up with XtraMath, and continued in their workbooks.
We watched Neil deGrasse Tyson explain Leap Year.
We watched a Crash Course video laying out the basics of The Holy Roman Empire. Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire: Crash Course World History #219- YouTube.
We watched a really good movie called To Be, or Not To Be starring Mel Brooks and real life wife Anne Bancroft, my favorite actors after James Stewart. (Netflix, and I think Amazon Prime streaming). Though it is not bad for young children, I don’t think they would understand it much. This movie is more than just a satire of WW2, it actually has quite a lot of history, and inspired lots of discussion.
We attended our local maple syrup festival.
They reenacted a western shoot out this year.
We read The Magic Tree House Fact Finder book about Abraham Lincoln, and the Dear America diary, A Picture of Freedom.
I highly recommend this Dear America story. It was by far the best story we read this week, and inspired *lots* of discussion. I will warn you though, it did not sugar coat slavery. There is death, beatings, and attempted sexual assault. I would place this series as the next stepping stone after American Girls.
We listened to the song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by The Plantation Singers (beautiful).
The girls made our annual maple syrup cookies, with maple syrup icing.
The girls had homeschool gym, and Yoga Walked.
Since I’ve started practicing yoga everyday, my sciatic nerve pain has gone away. I think my hamstring, and gluteal muscles were tight from my back surgery, and not being able to stretch them out. Yoga has helped with Papa’s arthritis in his joints too. The girls also love to practice on their own.
We watched the movie Ella Enchanted. It reminded me more of a Shrek rip off, than the actual story.
Theater Appreciation (stage):
We watched the musical, Peter Pan. The girls agree that this is one instance where the play, or movie is better than the book. Peter Pan Live-Cathy Rigby Full Show – YouTube
We attempted Peter Pan, DramaticParrot – YouTube.
Peace for the journey.