Thursday, August 03, 2006

learning

My children go to public school. At one point I thought I might homeschool but then, for various reasons, we decided to leave them in public school. Overall it has worked out well for them. However, we do have continuing learning going on at our house because I believe that learning does not and should not stop when you walk outside the four walls that define a public school. Learning is a lifelong endeavor, there is always something new and interesting to learn. If you are in the habit of continuing to exercise your mind all your life it is better for you.

In the summer we try to do some sort of homeschool. Although the public school sends home a math packet and a reading assignment we would do more than that. When the kids got into high school they could choose an independent study project that thaty had to research, write a paper about and work with me on. When they were younger (and still my youngest) we picked a subject of the summer (one summer it was the solar system, one summer it was insects, etc) to study as our primary subject and then we would also touch on some basic history, math, science, nature, english/literature.

For the last few years I put up a Word of the Week on the pantry door. It was a word, with its definition, its part of language, and synonyms. I figured this would be a good thing for SAT practice and word acquisition. Then I started adding a quote of the week, something that I found inspirational that I thought would be good for my children to learn. In the last six months I added a place of the week. Someplace in the world that they might not know where it is, a little history about it and a graphic of a map of the area.

It's all good stuff. But here's where it gets interesting. I wasn't always as motivated as I should be to change the page every week. Then my kids started noticing and pointing out to me that I had forgotten to change the page. This summer life got very busy for a number of reasons and we (read I) chose to forgo home summer school. The youngest missed it!

In my browsings and wanderings in the blogoshpere I found This! post. I realized that I am most of the way there. I can expand this idea to help my youngest with the Spanish that she will be learning this year (and which Steve and I would like to learn) and cover other subjects that may need help. It's a fun way to share information and learning. But I am going to make it more visually interesting and colorful than it has been in the past. Hopefully this will help me regain my motivation and recharge our learning efforts for the upcoming school year.

3 comments:

K said...

Mira,
I loved this post... and the one about living simply as well.

Charlotte Mason's quote, one of many,

An education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life holds true whether you homeschool or not. As long as you are providing quality literature, living experiences whether real or in books, you are providing a wonderful education for your children as well as yourself.

Way to go mom!

As far as living simply, I have been paring down so much that I no longer have living room furniture. I somehow managed to give it all a way and now, though I'd kind of like a nice couch to sit on in the formal room, I rather enjoy having some room to practice TKD forms, chase the baby in his walker, and spread stuff out while I'm working on it.
Not too mention that it's one less piece of furniture that doesn't smell like dog!! LOL

mira said...

Dear K,

Thank you for the inspirational CM quote. It definitely fits with my personal philosophy.

And way to go on simplifying your life. It's hard to do, isn't it? Learning to let go of stuff is difficult. Not only that somehow we have been conditioned by all those glossy magazines to believe that a room that is not crammed with stuff (although neat and sweet) is somehow lacking and needs to be filled with more stuff. It takes a while to learn to readjust to what we are seeing.

barb said...

Mira,

I just saw you linked a post from my homeschooljournelnet blog and so came reading :) I love K's Charlotte Mason quote. We try to follow many of her philosophies in our home studies. Sounds like you have a very enriching family life with much learning going on. And it seems great minds think alike lol. Your pantry word and quote etc sound similar to our wall. Isn't it fun when the kids are the ones keeping us on our tasks. Mine do the same. Look forward to reading more here.

Barb
http://lvbirders.homeschooljournal.net/