I am not a homeschooler. I probably would not be a good homeschooler, even if I am pretty decent at reading Oz books with the silly voices and explaining the hard words along the way; or googling questions about evolution when your 5 year-old asks you how the very first baby is born. In a way, I’m somewhat envious of those who have the trifecta of patience, time and knowledge to be great teachers to their own kids all the time. To say nothing of the organization skills.
Labels? On boxes? Holy crap, that’s so beyond my capability right now.
For those of you who still think that homeschoolers are weird, I need to attest that the friends I have who have homeschooled have all raised remarkably cool, smart, considerate, open-minded, intellectually curious, well-socialized kids and that’s not coincidental.
And so, channeling Helen Jane’s Jealousy Map (so genius) I think of what I can learn from them. Or even from my mother, a remarkable educator who is so ridiculously good at saying,”let’s make a book all about the birds you saw today!” Or “sure, we can set up an entire circus in the living room. Let’s start with the posters.”
Patience, time, knowledge.
I think for me its a matter of me devoting the time to actually doing the things I want to do with the kids. Let’s write that children’s book we’ve talked about. Let’s start that journal we mentioned 47 times. Let’s label those boxes.
(No, just kidding. Someone else can do that.)
Yesterday in the local coffee shop alone with the kids, I was skimming the Sunday Times Magazine and they were fascinated by the little matrix illustration that’s in there each week–the conceptual points that can be plotted out somewhere in the intersection of Axis A and Axis B.
So I put aside thoughts of starting the crossword and thought okay, let’s do this.
“What kinds of things do we want to plot out?”
They came to a conclusion: Presents.
So we made Axis A “Presents I Want” and Axis B “Presents I Am Likely To Get.”
May I present the result of my attempt at channeling good homeschooling parents:
I’m not sure exactly how helpful this was to the kids (unless one day my kids decide to become strategic planners in advertising), but I sure learned a few things. For one, someone let the cat out of the bag to Sage about American Girl dolls. Whoever you are–we will find you and hunt you down.
Also, uh…we owe them bikes.
But you know? I really enjoyed it. And so did they.
What are the favorite things you do with your kids that’s all teacher-like?