Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday Ten: School

It's Tuesday! Better yet, I knew it was Tuesday when I got up in the morning. All relaxed go-with-the-flow summer long I'd find myself halfway through the day thinking, "What day is it again?" Now that we're back in the swing of our school schedule, I know the day of the week before it's over.

Ten Things I Love About This Homeschool Adventure

1. Nature days. Spending a school day painting with our feet in the canal, or hiking around the park, or digging in the garden is marvelous. Our marvelous miraculous world is a part of our daily lives, a center for our studies.

2. Family-directed, interest-based learning. We can individualize learning for different learning styles, interests, paces.

3. We get to name our own school. How many families get to do that?

4. Art studies. "I want to paint really cool stuff when I grow up-- kind of like Pablo Picasso," fine young gent, six, told me this morning. "He's my favorite artist." He knows about Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. He recognizes their art, and will say things like, "Mom that reminds me of Picasso." He sees himself as an artist.

The sunflowers have bloomed in the garden and we're doing a sunflower study in conjunction with our artist study-- Vincent Van Gogh. We've been sketching and painting sunflowers.

5. I used to like sleeping in, but now we've got a lovely lady in high school so our sleeping-in days are over. I miss breakfast at nine. It sure is nice starting school early, though.

6. Books.

7. Beach days. Or pond days, or puddle-jumpin' days, or museum days. We can go and do. We can wring the last little bits of sunshine and warm out of these fall days. In the spring when the sun appears we head outdoors for nature and garden studies. We study at the park, take the morning off to watch birds, paint with our feet in the canal, study pond creatures by going to the pond, go to the library.

8. Learning new things. The big "Aha!" moments, the delights of learning something new, tackling a new subject. I love teaching, and I love learning with the kids.

9. Flexibility. We really never know what each day will bring. Some days we're done by noon, others the school day will meander into the late afternoon or even the early evening. No day is exactly like another. If a project inspires us, we follow our noses until we're ready to move on. No artificial time constraints-- "Art time is over. Time to put away your brushes!" How frustrating that would be to my meandering thoughtful middle gent, who needs time to carefully and earnestly organize his thoughts and materials. How off-putting it would be to first grade gent, who needs time and focus so that he doesn't rush himself, which leads in its turn to dissatisfaction with his work. Today we spent an hour at our drawing lesson, just experimenting with markers-- What kinds of lines do these markers make? Or these? What happens if you hold the marker like this? Turn the paper? Try this kind of line?

10. I like my kids. This time is precious to me. I love these moments we spend together.


living in PA said...

I've said it before but I'll say it again...I want to go to your school. Or, at least, I want my kids to go to your school.

Kate in NJ said...

Great post!
I like my kid too, and love spending time with her every day.