Saturday, April 3, 2010

Home schooling 101

Recently, I had a conversation with my husband. Ultimately, he told me that he was very interested in having me homeschool our son when the time comes. As a former classroom teacher and child that started "school" at 6 months, public school was all I ever knew. It worked for me, why not my son?

I've spent the last few weeks reading a lot of literature on homeschooling. Now, I'm starting to think "Why isn't everyone homeschooled?!" I am also taking a good look in the mirror and seeing that there is a lot of academic information that I do not have. Last week, I took a book out of the library, simply...English grammar. I have never understood grammar. I never really cared too much about it either. Mostly because I never had any issues with anything that I wrote for school. I was always an above average (like the "B" kind of above average) student. It is funny that even as an ESL teacher, I was not too concerned about grammar. I should have been! At least a little! There are so many parts of grammar that I do not understand. Also, knowing what I know about how I learn....I have to actually read it, see an example, and then rewrite it myself to have it stick. So, it's taking me some time to really understand this stuff.

It is very okay though...I want to learn this, because I want to be able to help my son understand it someday. Which is funny, because that is just the foundation of home schooling! Depending on how you home school, (because there are many different way to home school) the idea is that you want learning to be self-directed. As the parent, you help to get your child more information on something that is already of interest to them. You use their inner desire to learn and their motivation to learn about certain topics to help them determine what they will learn and be successful at gaining in depth knowledge. I think that this is something that I tried to do as a classroom teacher as much as a classroom teacher can without really knowing everything about her students. For some kids, I would pull out books specifically tailored to their interests. For others, I might pull them aside and teach them something that was a little beyond the "normal" mathematical curriculum, simply because I thought that they were just that interested and could handle it. Those were some of my favorite times as a teacher.

I am going to keep reading and see what else I can learn.

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