Thursday, February 12, 2009

War, What is it Good For?

Teaching my 1st Grader. I think I at this point am becoming more of an "un-schooler" which is just code for homeschooler with no direction! Ok, maybe not that exactly. Basically the curriculum and lessons are driven by the student's interest. In our case, Isaiah.

From almost the first introduction into home-schooling, Isaiah has put up a fight or at least an attitude everytime I suggest he start learning something or do a lesson. Admittedly these "class periods" have gone bad in the past - he gets an attitude, I get irritated because he gets said attitude, I therefore am primed for anger which he usually adds fuel to by not trying, not comprehending or basically breathing. It hasn't gotten quite bad enough to for me to consider public schooling at this time, but it is indeed a frustration.

Now let's consider what happened last night. Isaiah is hugely into army/military stuff right now - he goes through these phases where his interest is sparked by something he's seen or learned about (a freind's daddy joining the military, a movie about Sergeant York, etc.) and he is all about this particular subject for a couple of months. Then something else comes along to divert his attention and a new phase begins. Anyway, I took the all-army man to the library last night and we found books about whatever he wanted to read about. We got books about fighter planes, tanks, submarines, the military in general, World War I, Memorial Day, plus others that Huston picked out. What's he doing now? He's reading them - he's read 5 since we came home last night. Do you know how much nagging and guilt-talking I would have had todish out in order for him to see the need to read at any other time, any other book? He chose these, so he wants to read them...and my job got a lot easier.

So sounds like a solution right? Just take the boy to the library every week and let him decide what he wants to learn about - yes, we'll probably do that for awhile. But in real life we need to learn how to do things we don't want to do graciously....that's a good lesson too (one that many adults, including myself, often need to remember). So while I will let him choose a lot of what we learn and explore - he's still going to have to do math and practice handwriting and all that jazz.

By the way Isaiah made his own valentines this year....military themed of course...


Jason and Brook said...

Great job Isaiah!

We plan to unschool. After an issue on the Friday before we left, we were in the process of finding out what we could do legally or if we had to wait until they were adopted.

Mom H said...

Good job on the valentines. Keep up the good work on the reading.

Jason and Brook said...

Unschooling, what I read about it, reminded me of Project Construct, which I used teaching preschool. Which in a nutshell, is just following your child's lead. I could never figure out how they incorporated every elementary subject into it though...reading and writing would be simple. I am an eclectic teacher, so the thought of it is appealing to me.