Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to Think Like a Homeschool Mom


First of all, let go of all the political crap you've probably heard about homeschooling.  Sure, there are some fanatical idiots out there who have no business being around children at all who claim to be homeschooling.  However, most homeschoolers love their children and love teaching, and their children love learning.  .
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Homeschoolers get into Harvard, dude. 
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Get over it.  Done?  Okay.
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You don't need to be a homeschool mom to use some of our tricks when working with or interacting with children or young people.  The most important thing to know is how to
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Facilitate The Teachable Moment.
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Example:   STAR WARS.
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My son is a beginning reader.  I won't tell you how old he is, but he's not in Kindergarten yet.  His sisters learned to read at age 2 and 4, respectively.  I believe in teaching children when they're ready to learn and not when a curriculum tells me it's time.  Anyway, he recently got hooked, I mean, obsessed with STAR WARS, especially 'lightsaberin''  I immediately thought, "Oh!  I must run to the bookstore and buy the STAR WARS DK Readers!"  He packs them everywhere.  More have been ordered.
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Today, we are sick, so he's watching STAR WARS ATTACK OF THE CLONES.  He sees Anakin make a pear float through the air over the dinner table to Padme.  He asks how Anakin is able to do this.  I launch into a demonstration, albeit slowly because I am sick, about magnets and forces and such.  Now, he's running around the house with all the magnets seeing what they'll stick to.
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This is not to brag.  These are just examples.
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The fact is not all families are cut out for homeschooling.  It's a lifestyle very different from most.  It almost always requires one parent to stay home, which many families cannot afford.  Also, there is not always community support.  (Here in Alaska, tons of families homeschool and so we receive a lot of support.)  Plus, there is only one teacher - me.  And I totally stink at math.  I mean, I can't count to five with my mittens on.  Some families homeschool all the way through high school, but we can't because I stink at math.  Although, a lot of teens CAN homeschool themselves with the right materials.  I don't know if my children can or will want to yet, of course.
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So, if you work with children or young people, remember to Facilitate the Teachable Moment.  Don't mess it up by putting it right in their face.  That's boring and it insults their intelligence.  They'll tune you out right off the bat.  Just sit back, shut your mouth, and watch the lights turn on in their eyes. 
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I love that light.
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Facilitate.  That's the word.  Got it?
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Okay, now I must go collapse on the sofa again and drink lots of chamomile tea.
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Here's a link to a review of the above DK reader-
http://www.booksforkids-reviews.com/2010/01/star-wars-luke-skywalkers-amazing-story.html

3 comments:

Nayuleska said...

That's brilliant that you're able to use what he enjoys to get some learning in.

Good views on homeschooling here - there is no one set way :)

Kimber An said...

'Tis true.

If you go researching homeschooling methods and curriculum, you'll find a bazillion options. The beauty of homeschooling is you can choose which one works best for your own family as a whole.

My favorite site to get started is-

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/

Nayuleska said...

Im nowhere near that stage yet, but thank you for the site recommendation. Im making a note of it now and storing it for future use.