Thank You and Our Update

I wanted to say, that I have been so incredibly moved by the amount of kindness and support that we have been shown; kindhearted souls that continuously want to help and cheer us on as we start this new journey.  This is a big change for us and I have different feelings about it at different parts of the day.

As a trained and experienced elementary teacher, I still believe in the public school system…for most children.  Especially, when your child has the opportunity to work with a dedicated, talented, kind and caring teacher.  My son had one of those teachers last year and he came home sharing the interesting experiments and ideas that she shared.  His face lit up when he saw her. He felt respected and supported by the accommodations that naturally, she just knew how to do.  She got it.

I know that it can be good.  When it is that good, kids thrive and grow and take chances. As most of you know, that was not our experience this year and we had to change things. Most of the day, I know that this decision was the right one; however, I have moments where I let my worries about the future creep in and cloudy up my perspective.

Will he develop the skills and stamina to meet and tackle challenges and be able to overcome them?

Although I am a teacher with years of experience and a MA in Curriculum Development, can I teach my own son well?

How will we ever get him back in a “real” classroom?  Does it matter?

Many of you that commented on my last post, are currently homeschooling or unschooling.  I loved hearing your ideas and suggestions and I’ve taken them seriously as we balance restoring my TBP’s excitement in learning with my own need to make sure that lots of learning is taking place.

Initially, I wanted my son to have lots of traditional “school time” in the morning with his sweet and patient caregiver.  I believe this was my teacher mind and now, we are leading with compassion instead.  We have adjusted our expectations and are filling our days with valuable learning. It just isn’t the kind that you see on a worksheet.

We are observing dragonflies and watching videos about their flight and surprisingly strong predatory status.

We are reading different kinds of books.

We are excavating crystals and learning about vocabulary such as transparent, translucent, turbid, and dolomite.

We are spending time outdoors, looking for life as we notice the arrival of spring.

We are going to art museums and other educational trips for a “roam school” approach.

We are setting up bird feeders and observing which seeds are consumed and which birds are attracted to those seeds.

We are using math to build, to bake, and to keep track of time.

We are watching the Cosmos series and other National Geographic shows that go with his third grade science curriculum.

What I witness, is a calmer child.  I see smiles and hear jokes and laughter that had been missing for way too long!

Thank you for your patience and support as we learn how to do this and break old habits of thinking about education in only the most traditional fashion.

12 thoughts on “Thank You and Our Update

  1. So glad to hear the positive side of things. We are right there with you and will probably head that direction in a year or two. It is good to hear that he is more relaxed. That will allow so much more knowledge to enter. I’m sorry that it comes at a price. We are still trying to figure out that side. Let us know when you are taking more students in 😉

  2. What you are doing sound like wonderful “lessons”! Our children learn organically by experiencing life,
    I am blessed to have found a teacher and school that supports that approach, these schools are too few and far between.

  3. First off, I want to reiterate something I said to you. I didn’t realize just how important is – really – till my son had such a terrible experience last year.
    Secondly, I think you are in the middle of a process that you will need to continually refine. Yet, you will find a routine. It sounds to me like some good things are already happening. Remember your TBP learns differently.

  4. My son also loved his homeschooling years. Plato has some excellent elementary school years complete learning programs online. This was our son’s first homeschooling program…along with Thinkwell for math. With these programs…my son pulled way ahead of his grade level. We then supplemented his education with the sort of activities as you described in your article. When a child is allowed to go at his pace…learning becomes what it is supposed to be…an adventure. When it is an adventure…he learns to love learning. When he loves learning…that is the beginning of becoming an advanced learner. The curriculum of Plato will keep him on the same subjects as demanded by formal schools…without the plodding pace and the time wasting and, often, unnecessary assignments. He will learn concepts and then have immediate feedback from their many micro tests before taking the more comprehensive ones. My son loved advancing without restriction. When he reentered the school system…he was way ahead of his grade level in all subjects.

    I am happy to hear how well your son is responding to his homeschooling. Not only will your son love learning…he will be getting a much more valuable education.

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