The great home schooling adventure has begun for us. The Boy will be 5 in October and I’ve realized that it’s time to dedicate a large chunk of our morning to activities that promote learning specifically, and set a few educational goals for him. Oh and it’s time to say goodbye to a show, by this I mean feature length, every single morning while mommy takes a pregnant nap, sits and cries, showers, take your pick. So far it’s going well. I remembered how much I love teaching. I have always been aware that I am just a teacher by nature. I don’t just teach. I am a teacher. Making the decision to home school was easy; even if it wasn’t one of those pivotal childrearing discussions we had before we were engaged. (The Genius Husband was home schooled, as were all his siblings, which I truly believe has contributed to his genius because he had the freedom to think and develop his brain along it’s truly unique lines. You may think I’m kidding about the genius label but I’m not, the guy is smart, scary smart. He asks questions it wouldn’t even occur to others to wonder about, and it takes him places and to conclusions that ore completely original, and logical, and well, his profs think he’s really cool.)
The home school or not home school conversation began with him saying, “MY children will be home schooled.”
The feminist in me felt a little rebellious at this statement and protested, “What if I don’t want to stay home and teach children forever, what if I want a career, I can’t do that and home school full time.”
He responded, “Okay, then you can have a career and I’ll stay home and teach our kids, but my children will be home schooled.” He’s a chronic teacher too.
I instantly felt this twinge and responded, “What, and let you have all the fun?”
And the matter was settled, so I’ve been preparing for this day a long time. We’ve been into it one whole week, and I love it, and so do the kids. We’re working on foundational things, recognizing and drawing letters and knowing their sounds. Writing numerals, counting to twenty, learning all the relationships in the tens. We’re going to make a family tree for history, and learn Spanish together, so we can talk to the neighbors. (Except that little 4-year-old kid who is a kleptomaniac and uses the f word frequently in his English conversation. I don’t really want my boy learning anything from him, even if I do feel sorry for him.) We’ve already been working on understanding the basics of scientific method, that’s been my solution to the four-year-old know it all complex. Wherever possible I’ve tried to help him test his “theory” to find out if it’s true or not. (Do little bananas really taste completely different from big bananas as you insist? Lets cut them up and put them on a plate and see if you can taste the difference.) So we will continue with that as well as reading our way through science books until I’m delirious and exhausted and just want a nap, not to read the Sun, Moon and Planets again! Seriously, these books are 20 to 30 pages long, with a lot of text, he should have a shorter attention span don’t you think? His new favorite is my first year astronomy text from university. He wants every picture and diagram explained.
The most fun for me is that I get to teach him music, which was my major. A friend is moving and I am inheriting her piano as soon as the Genius Husband and crew can move it here, so I will be able to teach my kids to play, and get to play myself again, finally. It’s been two years since we bid our beloved piano farewell, and I’ve been pining ever since. I have dreams of starting to teach again even, (for money that is.) So far we have listened to several different styles and I’ve asked him to tell me what he likes about it, or doesn’t like, what instruments he hears, can he clap to it, walk to it, can we count to 4, 2, 3? It’s been fun, and he asked me why we didn’t do school that day. That’s the goal man; make learning this stuff enjoyable.
Rosh Hoshanna is this Friday, so we will also be in the thick of the autumn feasts; which we started celebrating last year, and I was so excited by how instructive and purposeful ritual and celebration can be in the instruction of my kids. My Jewish Milly is very excited by this development, so I have lots of help there but we have to go through and explain many things in the coming week.
I’m sorry if this is boring for some of you. I’m really excited, and surprised by what a joy it is to spent time with my children sharing one of my greatest passions with them, and to have it as part of the routine so I don’t feel pulled away by the hundreds of other things I need to do. So I need to go and prepare for the coming week. Happy Monday to all of you.