Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reflections and 9 Quick Takes - Things I Learned In A Year of Home school

Last summer I began working on home school preschool with Alex to test how we liked home school before Alex was school age.  The more I learned about home schooling and the teachings of the church, the more I realized that it is my Christian duty to take responsibility for my children's education.

"The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute."29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30"(Catechism of the Catholic Church 2221).

Some may argue that this statement does not mean the entirety of the children's education.  Or simply put, the intention is that parent's are to provide for their offspring's faith formation. I beg to differ.  One cannot mince the inherent duty to nurture one's young into reading, writing and arithmetic in a public venue and matters of the soul into another venue.  It matters that all be presented by the parent.

In the last year I have learned a lot.  I am sure that this endeavor to home school will be fraught with discovery for everyone involved.  Here are some of the best nuggets of wisdom I have gleaned in the last year:
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1. Lessons should be short and age appropriate.  If you sit down with your child and the material seems to be above him, break it down into shorter age appropriate components, or simply set it aside.

2. If the curriculum requires more cutting and pasting from mom than it does from the student, pitch said curriculum into the garbage. Or let the student cut it up and paste it.

3. In order to get a squirmy young'un to sit still during a reading lesson, sit on the sofa and put a blanket over his lap.  Suddenly, it's a cozy, snuggle with mom and voila he is still.

4. Do not worry if you did not finish everything.  There is always tomorrow.

5. When in doubt glitter glue it.

6. Life is home school as well. Every moment is a teaching moment.

7. Let the child's enthusiasm be your guide.

8. Celebrating the feasts are important lessons.  The traditions bring children to the transcendent; and expose children to aspects of life and death that would otherwise remain mysterious.

9.  Pray, pray, pray. Pray for your kids. Pray with your kids. Pray for yourself. Pray in thanksgiving. Pray to give glory. Pray.


Natural Homemaker said...

There's a lot of wisdom in this post. ~and "When in doubt glitter glue it." made me laugh out loud :)

penn said...

I'd recommend looking to some hands-on education books to get a gauge for what is age appropriate and developmental in terms of lessons. I'm a science teacher at nature centers, and I used to teach homeschool classes for a variety of ages. Some of my favorite science ones are the following:

- Mudpies to Magnets
- Small Wonders
- Hands on Nature