Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The First Step of Our Homeschool Journey

We've started homeschooling our Little Guy, and I am discovering that it takes a serious change in view to school such a creative and bright child.  Most people who meet Little Guy are shocked by two things. The first thing they notice is that he's small for his age.  The kid is a victim of  maternal genetics.  The second thing they notice, after talking to him for a bit, is how quickly he picks up on things and how much knowledge he's already stored away in that head of his. 
The story of my life - Left behind, while he forges ahead   .

The first step, I discovered, is letting go of my own notions of how his education should proceed.  Big Guy and I struggled with getting him to practice writing his letters.  Little Guy sat there with his pencil and paper and very passive aggressively refused to trace his alphabet.  He doodled, he sang, he made up stories starring his pencil and paper, but he WOULD NOT write his letters.  In response, we cajoled, we pleaded, we threatened, we yelled...  And then, we let it go.  I sighed, shrugged, and told him he could watch a TV show if he wrote five words down.  Any five words. 

And he did. 

It took less than two minutes.  Two hours of fighting over writing and in less than two minutes he wrote five words.  Big Guy and I looked at each other, shrugged, and let it go. Later on as we discussed the difficulties, we came tot he conclusion that we were approaching this the wrong way.  We had to keep in mind WHY we were homeschooling him.  We recognized that he would not handle the stereotypical school schedule well.  He'd rebel and then get in trouble.  We also didn't want him to HATE education, so we knew we'd have to do things differently than they would in a classroom. 

That's where we screwed up.  We approached the writing the way they do in school because that's the way we were taught.  We knew that wasn't going to work with him, and we tried it anyhow.  It worked exactly as we expected; he fought us.  So, we are re-evaluating.  Since he's still a young 'un, we're going to focus more on exposing him to things he'll learn about.  He CAN write, we just have to get him to do it.  Big Guy got him to write me a note while I was at work and left him alone to do it.  I came home to, "I miss you mommy."  We took advantage of Museum Day and took him to the Studebaker Museum and the Center for History. 
To be fair, that word can give lots of people trouble.

We're going to try things while we can and find something that works.  He's got a head start on his peer group; I want to keep him ahead and, more importantly, interested in learning. 


Jessica said...

That's awesome. Good for you for re-evaluating. I was/is so HARD for *me* to homeschool...because i was such a GOOD student, and I REALLY internalized the entire system and philosophy of SCHOOL, that stepping out of that box is so much harder for ME than anything else.

Anji said...

I wish I could have done that with my three. Sending them to school bored them to tears and we had a lot of problems. Look online to see the kind of approaches other parents have for the basics. I hope that you blog regularly about what you are doing with Little Guy.

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