Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm such a rebel

I can't think of any reason to teach state flowers to my kid. So I'm not going to.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Deciding how to homeschool

No matter how I choose to homeschool Cooper, someone will think I am doing it wrong.

I've been reading lots of homeschooling books lately, and that seems to be my consensus.

The classical education people think I should be teaching Latin and reading Cicero to my kindergartner. Not that's there's anything wrong with that.

The unschoolers think that workbooks and structured, parent chosen learning experiences will crush the love of learning out of your children. There's something wrong with that (the crushing part, not their philosophy.) You can imagine how well these people get along with the classical education types.

Charlotte Mason thinks I should be spending hours outside everyday, regardless of the weather (easier said in England than in Idaho, lady) and not allowing our children to read "twaddle." But if reading Cars books is going to get my child to read, is that so wrong?

Then there is delight-driven learning, and unit studies, and notebooking and lapbooking and workboxes and Waldorf and Montessori and Thomas Jefferson Leadership and the whole range of Christian/secular debates and comprehensive versus eclectic and three learning styles and five learning personalities and eight types of intelligence and

And my head just exploded.

And that doesn't even get into the whole educating a kid who has ADHD stuff (fidget toys! sensory pillows! no fluorescent lighting! face him away from the window or close the curtains!) that I am trying to deal with, too.

So, I am developing a mantra:

I am educating my child, not a hypothetical child.
What matters is what works for my child, not what someone else says should work.
You are trained as a scientist, view this as an experiment. Make a lab notebook. (Bonus: new notebook!)
If it doesn't work, I can change it.
If it doesn't work, I can change it.
If it doesn't work, I can change it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Updates and stuff

Life has been crazy!

I've had a cold that's refusing to go away, and then Sunday I got a migraine for the first time in a really long time. It's taken two days to fade. I'm starting to think one of my students has a voodoo doll.

We are gearing up for homeschooling here. We're talking about swapping the living room and the playroom so we can have the bigger room for the combination playroom/classroom. I've been researching curriculum and reading about teaching little ones and specifically teaching kids with ADHD. I've found lots of good resources and have to keep reminding myself, "You have years ahead of you. You don't have to do everything at once."

Cooper is responding really well to his medication. One of his teachers has been on medical leave since before he started medication. She came back this week and has commented both days on how well he has done and what an improvement he has made. That's wonderful to hear someone else validating our views that this is helping.

He's been doing great at home as well as at school. He's fallen in love with Lego, but still loves playing with his Trio blocks as well. He built a quite complex trailer bed with pontoon wheel supports (he actually figured out how to use gears as wheels), and then built a trailer hitch out of the blocks and hooked it up to one of his cars so the car can pull it all over.

We were looking through one of his animal books the other night and talking about the different types of animals. I said that animals that have hair or fur are called mammals. He said, "I have hair. Am I a mammal?" Yep. Then he looked at me. "You have hair, are you a mammal?" Yep. "And daddy has hair, so he's a mammal, too!"  Smart kid.

Also, he thinks getting to use the hose to water the flower beds is the funnest thing ever, so that's a great help. He also likes to fill the bird feeders. We're working on identifying some of the birds that come to the yard as well, but he still has urges to try and catch them.

And he insists on calling me Captain Momma and GeekBoy Captain Daddy. And sometimes he salutes and says, "Yessir!" when we ask him to do stuff.
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