Thursday, August 25, 2011
Conspiring to Teach
I've seen both sides of schooling this week. Monday, Miss Monkey went to Homeschool Connection all day. What a nice break I had! While Toddler E was sleeping I had some very real time to myself, quietly paying bills, making phone calls, showering without accompanying peep-eye and sometimes sibling induced squeals. It was nice. I could totally see why moms all over are so relieved for school to start again...it's an easy way to get some time to myself while I choose to be reasonably sure she's learning something (although what she might be learning could be up for debate, no?).
Then Wednesday this week. We signed up for the Denver Botanic Gardens' homeschool days. Four days this "school year" when we get to go to the gardens practically free of charge. From 10-2 they have activities tables ready with manipulatives for kiddos to learn about habitat, adaptations, food chains, etc. This time it was Colorado Ecosystems. We were a little late 'cause certain of our party needed some attention before we left. We cruised through the gardens, to each table, Miss Monkey participated fully and exuberantly especially at the pond study table. It was really pleasant, and eventually we left and arrived home mid-afternoon. I didn't have to match my schedule to some beaurocratic idea of what children should be doing, we went our own natural pace. A lot of learning and none of it was boring, plus we got to be outside most of the day (granted it's pretty warm around here lately, there was plenty of shade, better out than in no matter what weather). In a word, freedom. While it can be taxing at moments, I would much rather take the freedom of "homeschool" over the controlling world of typical public school.
The evening after the gardens adventure I met up with 3 other mommas to get a plan in place for our little homeschooling co-op-ish. Sitting there listening to the excited conversation about what we "think would be neat" I thought, "I wonder what our kids would think of us all sitting here conspiring to teach them something." Thus far we've some science in a monthly pond study, music, drama, and story writing. We've worked it out that we'll each take a Friday for a couple of hours and match a virtue to our activity for the day and let the kids learn at their pace--which is incredibly fast when they're having fun.
I'm thinking I might start referring to it as "worldschooling" instead. I'm excited to have received in the mail my Enki Foundations Guide, now I really need to study up and get some more curriculum purchased!