On Parenting and Teaching

I was going to start out by saying that I’m not a parenting expert.  But you know what?  I think that I am.  I’m not ready to go around and dispense advice to anyone, but I don’t think there’s anyone on this earth that knows my children better than I do.

I know what motivates them.  I know what they’ll ask me for before they walk in the room.  I know what they’ll do when they see a certain toy.  I know what they’ll say when I announce that it’s dinner time.

I know that learning is almost a spiritual experience for Ernie.  Nothing makes her heart sing more than learning a new…truth.  Some fact or rule that is indisputable.  I explained the points of the compass to her last week and you could see the joy.  She had to give me a hug, AND kisses.  She’s memorized them, by the way- she can point North, South, East, and West from anywhere we’re standing, almost every time.  She knows which roads run East and West, or North and South.

My husband and I talk every night about our girls- what they did that day, what our goals are for them, if our current approach is working, alternate ways we could approach something, etc.  I think home schooling is going to be just fine for us!

I really am so excited.  We’ve decided to go ahead and start in the Fall, and do Kindergarten at home.  Ernie is excited- she nearly cried for joy when I told her she could have her own desk and special pencils and books.  I’m working on our curriculum now, researching options that are available to us and local home school groups.

If you have any curriculum suggestions, I’m all ears!

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14 Responses

  1. Heh. Your daughter is funny. 😉 My daughter…can recognize two letters of the alphabet: T and E. Because T is HERS, and E belongs to her friend Ella.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys put together!!

  2. The best h’schooling advice, and I hear this all the time, from all different kinds of h’schoolers, is DON’T spend a lot of money on curriculum, especially not when you’re first starting. There’s so much expensive stuff out there, and kids and their interests change so extremely quickly. Even if you’ve got a very “booky” young lady on your hands, you can hs her extremely well through internet resources and your local library and public rec centres for YEARS. And if one of your kids turns out not to be a worksheet sort of person (as the case with my son), then you won’t be spending money on things that gather dust and cause resentment.

    Our best “curriculum” is exactly what you’ve been doing already – talking to your kids. Our kids always asked us what we were reading on the internet, and we’d talk with them about it. Often they’d ask questions, sometimes not. Sometimes the questions would come later, after they’d had a chance to percolate.

    Don’t mean to soapbox in your comment section, but I get excited when I see someone embarking on this journey!

    What I always tell people, and this is directly my personal experience, is this: Isn’t it unbelievable how much your kids learned from birth to five, without curriculum or being told to be interested? It doesn’t stop! In fact, I think school discourages interest and engagement, by dictating what we’re all going to be fascinated by today.

    As an adult, there are steep upward curves and plateaus in my own interest and understanding. I’m not always charging full speed ahead. My kids are the same way. There have so often been periods of months when it seemed like “nothing” was happening – but it was just a dormant phase, where things were germinating below the surface.

    All the best! Yahoo!

    • Thanks for this!! And I know you’re right about learning- she’s like a sponge right now, so curious about everything and wanting to learn about everything she sees. I just hope I can keep up with her 🙂

      She makes me laugh because sometimes she’ll say “No, Mom- let me tell you about it.” And she’ll describe in great deal how the moon is very sharp tonight, and there is a woman who is GINOOOORMOUS and she poked her finger on it, and…. :o) I’m glad she can learn, and I’m glad she can pretend!

  3. There are plenty of educational websites. I am not a homeschooler but my kids have loved this website.

    http://www.starfall.com

    My Jeremy gets jealous of Lucas doing his homework. In the past I have purchased dry erase boards from Lakeshore Learning with one side blank and the other with lines for practicing writing. He likes to use those when his brother is doing homework. It keeps him occupied.

    As far as buying curriculum, I totally agree with above, don’t spend a lot of money. I have found some books I like in clearance bins and I just photocopy the pages every so often when the kids want to do them. And it does go in phases. They loved it for about two months and I got to reuse a lot and save the book. However, they haven’t touched it since Lucas started kindergarten. I don’t care too much cause I paid very little for these books and our home printer can copy and scan. You will do great!! From everything you have written about the subject, you won’t start under read or unprepared.

    Have fun with it!!

    • We LOVE starfall- I’m fairly certain it’s what taught Ernie to talk. She wouldn’t mimic us, but felt OK repeating after the computer 🙂

      That’s a good idea to photocopy the workbooks, thanks 🙂

  4. We are using the Well-Trained Mind curriculum in our home–it is excellent! It is the same teaching model that was used in the homes of our nation’s founding fathers, so I’ll warn you: it isn’t for the faint of heart. Children back then could read and understand Shakespeare when they were eight years old (mostly because Elmo speak hadn’t been invented yet), so it does produce some exciting academic and emotional results, but moms who use this program won’t have time for stamping, scrapbooking, shopping, or facebooking! 🙂

    Here’s the link: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/classical-education/

    • Wow, that sounds intense! 🙂 She already reads and understands the Bible, so perhaps that would be a good match!

      • She could probably handle Classical Education, then, because the King James version of the Bible was penned a few years after Shakespeare’s most famous works were introduced onstage. Biblical language is the language of Shakespeare’s day!

        “A very young child’s potential for learning and understanding is far greater than we tend to believe. The exciting possibility is that while children are learning new words daily, they can learn the language of the scriptures. In time, through the guidance of parents and teachers, they will grow in their understanding that Heavenly Father is speaking to them through the scriptures, that the scriptures can help them find answers to their problems.” –Anne G. Wirthlin, April 1998 General Conference Address

      • Well I was going to say she read the Book of Mormon, but I didn’t know if everyone knew what that was…apparently, you do ;o) That’s a great quote.

  5. We used free stuff from the web and those big fat workbooks from K-mart, Walmart, etc. There are so many resources free online for early elementary. I remember going to the library quite a bit for books and videos…many great learning resources for young children. Barnes & Nobles has some wonderful learning games in their early elementary school section, or knowing how crafty you are, you could make them.
    : ).

    I’ve saved my son’s stuff, so I’ll be recycling it with my daughter. She has started to show some interest in his old worksheets. I was able to save them because I had slipped them into a plastic sleeve and we worked on them with a dry erase pen.

  6. That is so exciting! Glad to hear that you decided to go with homeschooling. Good luck and I’ll be asking your advice in a few years!! 🙂

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