Friday, January 25, 2013

Am I Smart Enough?

Being more structured with our homeschooling has a lot of advantages. Here are the three biggest (in my opinion).

Each morning, Emma sits down at the kitchen table to get her school work done. 

Workbox 25Jan13- Monthly Story
Transcribing her monthly story

While she works on that, I manage to get the dishes washed and lots of food prep done. 

Food Prep during school (2)
Homemade Chicken Broth


We get some sort of physical activity every day. 

Workbox Day 2 22Jan13 (11)
A walk around the block

And I feel like I spend more quality time with Emma. 

Workbox 24Jan13- Mancala
Emma and Mama playing Mancala

I've noticed a few downsides as well. Most of them are minor (sometimes Emma is cranky in the morning and isn't super excited about 'school'), but there is one that I seem to be struggling with lately. 

Am I really smart enough to homeschool my child? 

Most days I am learning right along with Emma. Let's take grammar as an example. I think I have forgotten more of the rules than I remember. Lucky for me, Jared seems to have retained a lot of the grammar lessons he learned in school (and at home!).

Another great resource for learning grammar is the T.V. I LOVE The Electric Company on pbs.org. Aside from the fact that the show is full of awesome music (beatboxing anyone?), the entire show teaches about grammar, as well as moral principles, teamwork, and a list of other awesome things. My favorite episode is the one about the silent 'e.' 

"Silent 'e' is a ninja." Awesome. 

So, no, I may not be knowledgeable enough about grammar to teach her on my own, but thankfully she and I don't live in a bubble. 

How about math? I hated math for most of my life. I grew up thinking I was stupid at math, that I didn't have a math brain, that I couldn't do math. Notice I said MOST of my life. A few years ago I had a radical brain transplant and now I enjoy math. 

O.k., I did have a brain transplant, but I did change my way of thinking. It actually started with drawing. Well, no. It actually started with being a good mom. I had noticed that Emma was full of "I Can't!"s. Trying to figure out where that was coming from, I realized it was from me. 

E- "Mama, can you draw me a horse?"
M- "I can't draw horses."

That's just one example. So, I made a decision. I. CAN. DRAW. I can draw, maybe not at a stellar level, but the more I practice the better I get. 

If I can all of a sudden draw, why can't I all of a sudden do math? From that day forward, I made a conscience effort to do public math (without getting flustered and just guessing). I don't run screaming when presented with a math problem in my life, but I try to tackle in head on (mostly with my phone's calculator). Sometimes I get the correct answer on the first try, sometimes it takes a try or two to remember the correct way to figure out the price per ounce. 

I am still not even close to being a math genius, but I am happy with my progress. Besides, there are books and T.V. shows to help me there as well. One of our favorites is Cyberchase (also on pbs.org). Two other enormously helpful things when it comes to math is that 1. Jared is really good at math, and 2. Emma LOVES numbers. 

Now, if you are starting to think that Emma learns everything from T.V., I wouldn't argue too much. Does ALL of her education come from the T.V.? Of course not. Do we use the T.V as an educational tool? Absolutely. 

The T.V., if used correctly, can be a wonderful way to add a different dimension to Emma's learning. For example, this week I had her fill out a state geography sheet about California. When she finished that, she located California on the map. When that was done, we watched a movie from Netflix about California's Big Sur so that she could actually "see" some of California. 

Anyway, back to the original question. Am I smart enough to homeschool my child?

If we lived in a bubble, no. 

Thankfully we have the world as our classroom and it's chock full of inspiration, education, and guidance. All we have to do is want to learn and learning will happen. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

A child's first, and possibly longest lasting teacher, is his/her parents. A teacher does not have to know all the answers...just know how to use various resources to help figure out the answers and know how to be a guide on the side (not a sage on the stage)to let the child do the figuring out. See, you've got it!
Mom/Gramma

Des said...

Great post!