When we first started on the homeschooling path, I told myself (and others) that I wanted to facilitate a more organic, project led learning type of learning experience for her.
It wasn’t until I was going over her lesson plan a few weeks ago that I realized that I had been doing the very opposite. I was cursing how the concept that TLE would be happier learning was five lessons down and at our current pace, we wouldn’t get to it until a least another week.
“So why not skip to it?” asked The Hubs ™ as he overheard me mumbling to herself. Blithely, I began to explain about the spiraling nature of her curriculum.
“Do you even hear yourself?” he asked. “What’s the point of having her home if you’re going to force her to go at someone else’s pace?”
With science and social studies, I’d favored a laissez-faire approach where we’d do one activity to satisfy the Common Core requirements before independently going on to do more advanced level work that was more interesting. Yet with math and language, I’d allowed her to be confined to the text books’ pace, figuring that these books somehow “knew” better.
I realized that I didn’t trust her to learn on her own. Considering that this is a child who largely taught herself the alphabet, how to count and write, this was a travesty. I felt horrible about not trusting her innate ability to learn.
We switched to computer-based programs for math and reading. Being the child of gamers, it’s probably no wonder that she responds well to learning games. Math concepts are reinforced using supplements with manipulatives and real life. Our phonics workbook is sitting forlorn in favor of made up games based on her computer-based program and becoming more vigilant in encouraging recognition of “sound it out” opportunities in real life situations.
Last week, she wrote and illustrated a book, depicting her Digimon (her favorite cartoon) and their different habitats. Among the words she spelled out? “Illustrated”, “habitat”, “volcano” and “banana”. And while I helped break down the words, she decoded the letters and wrote them all on her own.
While we we were out to lunch the other day, she squinted at a decoration on the wall.” Look, Mommy! There’s the number 81! And there’s a 76 right next to it.”
I think this “letting go” thing is working out a lot better.