I should be working on my Tech Guy post right now, but the urge to say something on my own turf is too strong to ignore.
I haven’t been writing much here anymore, and the reasons are so myriad that it’s hard to put into words. First of all, there’s the apathy that comes from realizing we are doomed unless a major correction of some sort. This apathy has plagued me since the 2012 election.
Then there’s the fact that I write for someone else once a week. It turns out, my standards are much higher when someone else’s reputation is at stake. Which means I spend too much time on too few words. But I’m happy with the arrangement and will continue it. Frankly, I may have quit blogging altogether without the impetus of a commitment made.
Next is the school situation. Now, I pulled the boys out of brick-and-mortar way back in aught-diggety-eleven (2011). Being a chicken, I signed up for Kansas’ virtual school program. Which was worth the public school baggage, given the fact that it was run by a man whose wife homeschooled their children.
He knew that the social component was important. Fun Fridays were not to be missed. Folks from other districts would sign up to his district and drive the distance, because their district simply didn’t have an equivalent program.
But the point is, I wasn’t in charge of the curriculum. Someone else was. All I had to do was sign up and follow the schedule.
Our first year in Tampa I signed up for so many private homeschool opportunities, there wasn’t much time to think. Math was neglected as a result. It’s pretty easy to neglect the thing that causes the most pain.
This year is really the first in which I have taken full responsibility for the education of my eight and eleven year old boys.
It has been glorious. With help from the Khan Academy, math results have been positive. I could write a whole series of posts on the adventures of teaching math, but maybe another time.
The Sonlight curriculum is great for marrying literary material with the history material. Mostly, though, I have ignored the rest.
That means that it’s up to me. STEM and TAG classes for both. Multiplication drills for Younger Son, math problems daily for Older Son, grammar lessons for both, typing and cursive, impromptu vocabulary lessons, whatever reading material they choose, a random geography project, and whatever else crops up. It’s amazing how much there is to teach and to learn.
Children have a saturation point, unfortunately, and I run up against that point on a regular basis. Cross that point, fine. But don’t expect them to absorb a thing.
There’s another important aspect. Homeschooling is as much an educational endeavor as it is a mission. Get active, and before you know it, you are coordinating field trips, offering carpooling, and generally looking after the welfare of your community.
Fills up your time quite nicely.
But I just wanted to say hello anyhow.