Thursday, October 9, 2008

Michele needs a self-esteem boost

To take my mind off of my checkbook, I have been surfing the 'net looking at anti-homeschool articles (NEA). Brilliant idea, huh? I sometimes feel I should put the kids in public school and go get a paying job. The kids would probably be fine. But "fine" is not my goal.

I know when my kid gets a math or science concept; we can move forward or go deeper as needed. Nutmeg constantly needs something new to chew on. I vary her assignments - and curricula. Sometimes doing a lesson from another text is enough; sometimes it takes a new Latin declension! I skated by in public school without really understanding some concepts (like the concept of MATH for example). I don't want that for my girls.

Latin is currently my favorite example of fine-tuning lessons to Nutmeg's needs. We are using Latina Christiana 1. We are going through it lesson by lesson, worksheet by worksheet and vocabulary drill by vocabulary drill. I can tell when we need a change - usually by the glare I receive from my child when I pull out another worksheet or flashcard sequence! No problem! I switch to Minimus, Lingua Latina or Little Latin Readers. Voila! Nutmeg feels empowered by reading and understanding a Latin text. The vocabulary and grammar pile up quickly in those texts, so when we hit a wall, I pull out some grammar cross word puzzles from Ludere Latina. So far this is working well for us; Nutmeg is constantly learning Latin, happily learning Latin. We can do this in other areas as well. When memorizing the 7x table starts to grind her - we can mess around with fractions.

She would not get this in PS. She would skate by (like her mom) without developing deeper understandings or she would get bored and tune things out (and read Stephen King in class behind her books; I did it in band too. And I was a flute player. On the front row!).

School is not compartmentalized. School is all day. Throughout the day, we point out connections to lessons. I would love to think that I could "afterschool" my kids, but I know, at the end of a long day, I would let it go and have to assume the schools were doing their job.

So I am doing the right thing. I am doing the right thing...


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