Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Homeschooling is pretty awesome

Well, since this is a blog about my family and a big part of that is homeschooling...I thought I'd say some things that we really like about it. First: That we are able to control what our kids are learning. This is huge for us as a conservative, Christian family.  It helps us limit them seeing or hearing things they're not ready for yet. Second: That our kids can learn at their own pace. Third: That we can style the teaching to nurture their interests, desires and passions.

When we started the school year, Adin was reading really well, but really hadn't done a whole lot of focused school. I hadn't ever bought a real curriculum. Since I personally resist any kind of true schedule and hate having anyone tell me what to do (yes, this is possibly a very serious character flaw for a homeschooling Mom), I really struggled with finding the time or commitment to do school every day. So, his being behind was somewhat my fault, but also a product of Adin's resistance and inability to sit still when he was younger.  I don't really like to force an issue as far as my children's readiness to leave behind an old habit or to begin a new adventure.  I lean towards Unschooling in this way.  I love the concept of unschooling, but also recognize my own limitations in providing the resources to constantly keep their little minds engaged so they learn almost without grade based books.

So back to my subject; we decided to buy A.C.E. curriculum. First we tested Adin online. He tested right into 3rd grade (his proper grade) on every subject except for math. In that subject, he tested as competent to 1/2 way through 1st grade, which I figured beforehand. So we ordered the schoolwork and started it in August. Dave is the one that does the work with Adin right now while he's not working. He and Adin "click" really well. He makes up scenarios to motivate Adin.

For example, Adin didn't want to do math. So Dave found a YouTube video of a Blue Angel pilot that miscalculated the altitude during an airshow, (essentially incorrect math) and ended up crashing the plane during a maneuver (he lived). This was all it took for Adin to decide Math was worth it! Another one: to get him to do cursive, Dave turns them into airplane maneuvers. Adin almost willingly does cursive now. :) There is not a school in the world that could have provided that kind of attention for him.

Anyway, the exciting part for me is knowing that though he was behind at the start of the year, he's nearly caught up, without a lot of painful struggles. He was ready. He finished up the 1st grade math and has tested 1/2 way into 2nd now. We started that today. I have no doubt that by the end of the school year, he'll be nearly caught up, or at least 1/2 way through 3rd grade. Not that it really matters, because the beauty of my children learning at home is that we can parent well even in their education. We can nurture him at his pace and playing to his interests.

Now, we turn to focus on Elsa. I will not worry about where she is either. She will get "there" when she'd ready.

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