Monday, October 25, 2010

Homeschooling 101

Over the course of the summer, we have been gearing up to begin homeschooling!  I have a degree in teaching, so I thought this would be pretty easy, right?  Wrong.  I forgot one key thing:  Homeschools have no janitor!  Actually, there is a janitor… but I’m it!  When you teach in a classroom, if there is a spill (or worse yet, if someone wets their pants or throws up), you press the little button on the public address system and the janitor comes and cleans it up.  But when there is a messy event in a homeschool there’s no little button to push and no janitor to come running.  So, between janitorial work, cooking, laundry, diapers, all the other things a mother has to do AND figuring out how to balance all this with teaching…I haven’t had time to update the farm blog.  In fact, to be honest with you, after the first week of homeschooling I took a 3 week vacation.  I didn’t go anywhere, but I spent that time rearranging my life and decluttering my house so that my days would be more efficient.  But now I think I’m on a roll and expect to have more time to think about the farm.

I get a lot of comments from people that our decision to drop-out of city life and take up farming is pretty unconventional… and I say that’s a pretty reasonable statement to make!  Well, our school is pretty unconventional too!  Yes, we are using curriculum to teach reading, writing, grammar and math.  Once in a while, I will pop onto the blog with something to say about one of those curriculums.  What I like most about our homeschool is that we are learning from what is right here around us!  Nature!  Nature is science and it is full of opportunities for experiments, drawing, investigating, writing, thinking, creating….


As a little sampling of some of what we are doing, I want to mention a wonderful set of books I found at the library called “Let’s Read and Find Out Science.”  They are meant for young children (grades 1 and 2) but they are so full of good information!  I am learning almost as much as the children.  (I say “almost as much” because inevitably they remind me of things in the books a few days after I have forgotten.)  One night we read the book “The Big Dipper” from the “Let’s Read and Find Out Science” series.  A few minutes after reading the book, we went outside to lay out on the hill and look at the stars.  Immediately, my 5 year old was able to spot the big dipper!  And it took her only a moment longer to find the little dipper!  Now, I’m impressed.  I know a lot of adults who can’t do that!  The book explains the secret and the next day we did some artwork to help us remember:

Big Dipper Art

Do you see it?  Once you find the big dipper, you trace an imaginary line between the two stars on the far side of the dipper and extend that line to the nearest bright star.  That is the North Star.  And once you’ve found the North Star, Voila!  You have the Little Dipper in sight!


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