Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
On the other hand, maybe you will have a typical, average, normal second grader... or fourth grader or nth grader. Surely there is at least one child out there that actually knows all the appropriate things for a 3rd grader – no more but no less. The rest of them are more like mine, I suspect, all over the academic map.
I have a 7-year-old taking high school Shakespearean drama whose handwriting skates perilously close to illegible. My eldest T.A.s in virtually all of her classes and volunteered for a pet store for nearly a year, but does language mechanics exercises only when forced to at the point of a gun and gets the answers correct only through the laws of statistical probability. Come to think of it, her printing is pretty lousy, too. Maybe it's the teacher's fault. I haven't written anything down in nearly a decade. And Mera? She's a class all by herself. Actually, she's three or four classes since her academic ability stretches from 3th to 9th depending on the subject.
But unless you educate your children via the most radical unschooling path, eventually you join the rest of us -- we all have to answer that question, “What do I teach next?” For the most part, the question solves itself as your children dive down a literary, scientific, artistic, or historical rat hole. What you do next is to stand back like the tutu girl in a magic show and unobtrusively hand your magician tools, colored handkerchiefs, and small domesticated animals while he or she awes and delights the crowd. Then you pack up all the props and costumes and move on to the next show.
Sometimes, however, this process needs a nudge. Or a shove. Or maybe you just need to push your child off the cliff. I believe the unschoolers call this process “strewing,” an activity which sees you littering your home or boat with things that might happen to tweak the child's interest back into the learning process. You might drop a magazine on a table or add a book to the library shelf. There are email messages with interesting links, trips to craft shops and hardware stores, or a walk in the woods with a jeweler's loupe and a notebook. The process is elegant in its simplicity and in the gentle, almost noble manner in which it brings out the eager learner in your child.
And this is where I depart from the radical unschoolers, because I just don't have the patience for strewing. When the girls run out of things to do and start whining at me like “regular” schoolers two weeks into summer that they have nothing to do and are “bored, bored, bored”, I pull out the state curriculum and tell them it's time to learn World History.
I think of World History as the bully club of strewing. Where subtly fails you, a large book entitled America: Revolution the Present or World Geography and You do wonders for inspiring your children to more seriously take their education into their own hands.
The Girls Visit the Farm
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Ancient Civilizations sounds like fun to me. :)
Toast, U Crack me up! My son was homeschooled via the delight directed learning path. He is now finishing his 2nd year of college. Every interest he submerged himself into, has resurfaced 10 fold (except dinosaurs). After he gets his AA, he will major in Software Engineering with a minor in theatre! LOL weird combo ~ It really does work!!
Crap, I didn't sign in..It was in spanish *sigh* I'm homeschooling myself in Spanish right now, does that explain anything? LOL..
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