Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peace & Gentleness School

I was at a bible study slash games party this weekend and someone mentioned they were planning out their homeschooling this week. I immediately threw my fingers in my ears and moaned, "lalalala, don't talk about homeschool yet!" The rest of the weekend I was thinking about my reaction. Sure, some of it was to be funny because I can't help myself. But the rest was pure unwant. And that had me thinking all weekend. Do I hate homeschooling? No. Is it the planning? Maybe. But once I get going, I'm good. Am I enjoying my summer freedom too much? Probably. lol Are there other problems with our homeschooling? I think this is the kicker.

My pre-teen (aka: little one not so much longer) has such a different learning style than my own. She does NOT revel in writing everything down, making lists, perfecting her cursive, researching details. If we did things her way we'd read all day and play with Legos, Playmobile or outside for the rest of the time. Oh, and some science experiments or inventions thrown in for good measure. She hates structure. How am I supposed to school around that? Plus we're moving into 7th grade this year and I'm getting scared. Scared that I won't cover everything, scared that we'll continue to fight about everything. Scared scared scared.

However, I keep trying to embrace this scripture: 
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4: 4-7

He does not want me to worry, but to just rejoice in him and to enjoy the peace that he gives me. Why is that so hard? Gentleness is another part of me that is not always evident in our day to day homeschool exchanges. I want to just get it all done quickly so our day can continue. This will be a year of changing things up. I want school to always be a positive experience, for us both!

I happened across a post by Classic Housewife with the challenge to post what our school looks like and what works for us in our homeschooling. Here goes:

Well, we're down to one child. The teen graduated last year and is working full time and attending college. The pre-teen (formerly the little one) is growing up. In August she will turn 12 and enter 7th grade homeschool.  She is a hands on learner I think. Hates repetition. I keep trying to pigeon hole her into a certain learning style but as of yet have not been successful. It's probably one of the reasons I have so much trouble teaching her sometimes, even though she is super smart.

1 - Reading. My daughter loves to read. Granted, she wants to read what SHE wants to read but she will eventually settle down and read a book I assign. I think if I make more of our schooling into reading (history books, biographies on scientists, artists, mathmaticans, short stories, etc...) it will make a big chunk of our school easier.

2 - Latin. This was enjoyable in the beginning of the year. Then we got a bit behind and I kept pushing the Latin at a faster pace and it lost its appeal. I plan to bring it back and make it enjoyable.

3 - Baking. My daughter plans to be a baker when she grows up. Why not incorporate this into a few subjects? For example, history/geography? We could cook from different lands and time periods. We could also use baking as a way to reach out with missions. I realized the other day we've lived here for 16 years and I don't know the neighbor's names behind me. I've waved occasionally but that is it. It's time to meet the neighbors, why not bring cookies?! 

4 - Science. My daughter LOVES anything science or inventing. This is where I really fail. I like science, but organizing activities and experiments is not something I usually do. This year I'm scheduling at least 3 activities or experiments a month, outside of our science learning lessons. I must foster this love for science she has.

5 - Art. The preteen is always asking for art supplies for holidays and every time we're near a craft store. I'm an artist for criminey's sake! I should be teaching her more about artists, different techniques, and providing opportunities to visit places with art; to enhance her love of art.

** This is a post for the second annual “Back to (Home) School” blog carnival **


amber @ classichousewife said...

I hear that!!! I'm going through some of the same things with my oldest, age 11. You may have trouble honing in on her best learning style because she has a blend of two (most people do.) My oldest is a visual and kinesthetic, my middle is auditory and kinesthetic, my youngest is probably also visual and kinesthetic. It can make things quite interesting. But it makes it okay use to a variety of different methods to appeal to their learning style. Don't stress about not using something because it doesn't seem like it fits with her learning style - if she likes it and it works, go with it!
I've been working to have more grace and patience with the things that are harder for my children because it's not a strong point for them. My oldest isn't very quick at reciting math facts out loud but she knows them -- so I've accepted it and I'm okay with that. I keep working with her on it anyway, to help her improve, but I've backed off in the expectation department.
I love that verse and I should probably tape it inside of my homeschool planner. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for joining in!

Mel R said...

I'm going through something similar with my soon to be 12 year old and homeschooling in general. Your daughter and mine are very similar in their intersests (esp Legos!!) and strengths/weaknesses which are all so opposite of my own. I did a sucky job with school last year and aim to improve this year. We're switching to a more interesting (I hope) curriculum. Science is hard for me, I hate teaching it so I always farm it out. I haven't taught science in 3 years. She always takes a class and I was lucky to find one here in our new town that is also very hands-on. She'll love it. I'm so relieved. LOL

Linda said...

Maybe it is an age daughter turns 11 at the end of the month, hates to repeat anything, wants to do only science, and we fight...a lot! I do not feel like our last year was a good year, even though she is still on level, it just didn't feel like a good homeschool year. My child hates to write also, which is why our Time4Learning core curriculum works for her, its all online. As for the hands on science stuff, I'm still struggling with that. I hope your next year will be as wonderful a I pray ours will be!

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