Thursday, March 16, 2017

Homeschooling, It is all about the love of learning.

Three years ago I witnessed a scene
 that I never thought could happen to me.
My precocious, fun, active grandson
was on the floor being dragged out the door
so he could go to school.

This was not the first time.
My daughter had let me know
that things were going poorly.
As a four foot tall Kindergartener
he was being accused of almost everything.
Plus he was put in the "lowest group"
because he did not read.

I did have experience with a child who did not read in Kinder.
My son did not read until the end of first grade.
He graduated from West Point,
flew helicopters,
and in a month a Masters in Nuclear Physics.
He never cried about school.

I did not see changing schools as an option.
This was a good school.
All schools were bears about "reading in Kindergarten"
and being big would not go away.

As a teacher of thirty years,
it was difficult for me to say,
"I totally agree, homeschooling is the only way."

The summer was rough.
Intimidated, sullen, no longer hands on Mr appeared.

Homeschooling began in the Fall.
My daughter chose the curriculum.
It helped that I had taught First and Second grades
so I knew where he had to go.

The first year was pretty relaxed.

Lots of reading aloud.

He worked through Saxon Phonics and Spelling
and Saxon Math.
I had in-serviced Saxon for a few years and
was convinced of its power.

We played games, went to the zoo,
saw the museums and just relaxed into school.
He did soccer and the play gym.

Year two, guess what, he read like a champ.
I put my daughter on the trail of
Illustrated Classics
She had already started a collection of Usborne books and the library was their friend.
He enjoyed some crazy field trips with Nana while mom wrangled the toddler.
Piano and Soccer again. He tried scouts and did religious ed.

This year my daughter found a coop for him.
He attends two days a week-
 Classic Curriculum style.
A small class of twelve, he has soared.
Summary writing, report making, multiplication tables,
religion class- it is was a great placement.
We still get to do all of the field trips,
science and lots of Minecraft.
He LOVES it.
The bonus is that he has a relationship
with siblings who are 5&7 younger then him.

Fourth grade, next year,  he will
go to his neighborhood public school.
The Catholic schools are too expensive
and it is time to re enter the game.
He feels ready.

Homeschool, like "regular school" has changed.
I found that the rigidity of my middle school
has moved into the public school Kinder class.
The fluidity of my first few years of teaching (1979-83)
has moved into secular homeschooling.

School should bring
is the love of learning.
My grandson, once again, loves to learn!


Tom Sightings said...

I guess I'm out of it. So what's up with kindergarten? When my kids were young they all learned to read in first grade. (Yeah, they learned a few letters in kindergarten, and they were read to, but they weren't expected to read themselves until first grade).

Janette said...

With the advent of Common Core, the standards for first grade have moved into Kindergarten. If you do not read in Kindergarten, you will be put in a "reading support" group in First grade. Since Science says that reading occurs when the brain makes a transition (around age seven), many children end up in "support" - especially boys. There is also growing evidence that if you force early reading in a brain not ready, the child will end up with learning disabilities.
It is a mess.
Didn't bother me until my bright grandson became a child in need of support (and all of the negative attitude that comes with being "dumb:).