Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reflections On Our Past School Year

Last school year we did a whole lot of deschooling and it was very necessary. In DJ's case it was coming from the angle that Yes, school is fun and you should be able to learn about whatever your heart desires. For Ken it was more for building self confidence, and to get her to understand that we don't learn everything we need to know in a day. It frustrates her that she doesn't really understand Long Division yet. Just like adults, kids can fall into the comparison trap. Ken loved school, but the way lessons were presented sometimes just went right over her head, math particularly. Ken felt she was falling behind in school(her last report card was all A's and one B) and asked if she can be home schooled with DJ.

I shouldn't of giving them everything!! Last year as I reflect the children were bouncing from one interest to another not really able to get deeper into their work. There were a few projects that they did follow through, but more than half of them were started and quickly pushed to the side. Why was this happening? Isn't this something you said you wanted to do? I would ask them.  The answer is simple, I gave them everything! If they said they wanted to learn about Space, I quickly went out and brought a science kit about Space. This went for everything. It was fun to see that they were busying themselves, and again we were deschooling. What's my point? I gave them no room to create, no room to wrap up a project because before they finished one I found another one for them to start. I'll be straight forward, I meddled in their business. I am sure this was a turn off for them. Now that I have been deschooled I can see what we can improve on here in the schooling department. I specifically purchased new materials this year that I am 100% certain that will foster their creativity and allow them to grow into. Also it prevents me from impulse shopping at the Teacher store, which is the wrong message to send to kids. This is another reason why they jumped from project to project. Mom is an impulse shopper( thankfully not anymore:)

They love worksheets(colorful ones), science(especially if it involves mixing things up:), math, reading, learning about where people live, figuring out how did this world come to be, drawing with different art mediums, listening to music, and speaking in different languages. Did I miss anything? Reluctant Learners they are not, Thinkers they are!! They get really ticked off when they share an idea with me and then I take off with it as if it is my own.

This year they are ready to take on new skills and goals as long as I agree to allow them to do it. Sounds simple but it really isn't for me. You may see some science kits( I have a addiction to those:) but they were sought out by them and made to be an independent work that will  help keep my hands away.

Michelle is doing great! She loves her freedom to pursue her interest. As school gets closer she is really not into being home schooled anymore. I don't think it will last past the first semester, we'll give it a try. If it doesn't work she will return back to school. This isn't a disappointment for me at all, I follow the child. If Michelle isn't feeling it, then we need to move on to what she is feeling. I respect her honesty and I don't home school my children because that it is something that I want to do, they asked me to and I obliged. For Michelle this is something that she wanted and she may still want this, maybe she is missing her friends:) Any way I want her to be excited, especially while learning and if that is at school then so be it.

So this year the goal for me is stop giving them everything and stop meddling in their ideas. I will continue to prepare their environment the best way I know how. Most importantly, I will follow them and not take the lead.

P.S.
I already have the Magic School Bus Chemistry kit on the shelves. This should help me control my addiction at least to Christmas(fingers crossed).

2 comments:

  1. I did the same thing our first year - I think I was more excited about some of the ideas than my son was, and he did NOT appreciate it! I follow a fair bit now myself, and it never fails to fascinate me to watch them go.

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  2. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with me. It is more fun to watch those wheels turn, then to try to turn them ourselves. Thank you for sharing.

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