I think 'school' may have started today in my house. I wasn't intending to, it birthed itself. My 5.5 year old wanted to learn to read something before he starts grade 1 on Monday. So we learned the 'at' family of words, wrote a little story, he illustrated it and now he has a book he can read all by himself. I LOVE the lights that come on in their face when they realize that they're getting it!! I used to want to be a teacher in a school because of that very thing, then got very turned off by the college of Education that I was enrolled in. I decided that if I was going to be forced to teach the garbage that they set out and submit to those who called themselves leaders in that college then I was done.
However, during that year I did a project for a class that contrasted public, private and home education. I had never heard of home education really, it was very foreign to me. That assignment planted a seed that sprouted and grew. We haven't ever home-educated all our children at one time (who knows, that time may come at some point) but have been home-educating one or two of them at a time for the last 7 years, with the exception of a year or two when Samuel and Sasha were born.
While I was in the middle of teaching Sasha to read, Samuel asked for some difficult words to read. So I tried to think up some things that should be difficult for a kid going into grade 2. Words like hippopotamus, grotesque, tsunami, jugular, sympathy and stuff like that. It took him a seconde to realize sympathy wasn't symphony and other than that, grotesque was the only word that gave him any pause.
From reading and vocabulary we launched into French. The three of them asking me what this was in French and what that was. Asking me to speak sentences and translate them. This sparked Abby who knows some French to start teaching her brothers what she knew. They went over colours and some other common objects. We were having quite a bit of fun with that.
After that we got to talking about Karate Kid and martial arts and suddenly everyone was seeing how high we could kick - a little phys ed thrown in. Earlier they had been asking each other what 2-1-1 was and what 900 + 900 was as they played with a calculator.
Isn't that how learning should take place. Naturally. Not overwhelming. Little pieces at a time that are easily swallowed and digested? Older children helping younger children. I love to learn with my kids. I love when the lights come on for them. Granted at times if feels overwhelming and more than I can bear, especially when I get behind in marking! But we're going to try a bit more of the Charlotte Mason approach in narration and seeing what they know rather than testing to find out what they don't know and showing them all their failures.
A few more gifts to share:
673. A good day with my difficult son yesterday.
674. A big brother helping a little sister without being prompted by mom.
675. Fun with schoolwork, without even trying.
676. Praying with my sister-in-law as we try to encourage each other through our days.