Sunday, September 6, 2009

Adventures in Homeschooling

So we decided two months ago to homeschool three of our fantastic five. Sade - a wildly independent and serious 11 yr old. Zion a free spirited, creative (translation slightly wander-y) 7 yr old. And Zach. A 6 yr old impetuous, energetic, (demon) darling who is the bane of my existence.

In our first week we set up a lovely classroom in the back office ( which never looked so great). I have broadband internet to help with lessons and online teaching. Our first theme is the moon - 40th anniversary of the moon landing etc. So far we have done phases of the moon and fractions, and thrown things into a tray of flour to make moon craters, and tomorrow we will shoot a rocket (powered with vinegar and baking soda) and Sade has been searching the NASA website for an interview shes writing up on Neil Armstrong, and so on and so on. Half a week of homeschool and heres some stuff ive learned:

1. Kids are teribly enthusiastic about learning. Anything. EVerything. They are sponges. (or knowledge sucking leeches depending how im feeling) I am in slight awe of their energy for wanting to learn stuff. Was i ever that excited abt it i wonder?

2. How the heck does the teacher in a room full of 28 five yr olds EVER have enough time or energy to pay atention to my son? Or my daughter? Or anybodys kids for that matter? Im sitting there working thru stuff with Zach and hes doing it cos im right there. I think primary teachers need massive raises. Immediately.

3. My son is actually very likeable. When hes got stuff to challenge him and occupy him and drive his engines - hes actually a nice kid. IF nothing else, i should continue homeschooling so i dont lose that feeling.

4. Did u know that astronauts poop is all freeze dried and stored in nitrogen and then brought back to earth for analysis and disposal? and the thought of poop escaping the confines of the special weightless toilet and floating through the space shuttle was FAAAAAR more exciting and interesting to my 3 then the actual concept that man actually landed on the moon. The catchcry for the day? - "Catch that poop!"

5. Samoa is a funny place to homeschool cos nobody is going to come check on u and see what yr kids are learning. I could send them all out sell salus if i wanted and nobody would blink an eye. Contrast that with NZ and the truancy police who called me at the hospital the day after my emergency c-section to demand where were my daughters and why didnt their other family members bring them to school?! Now, on one hand the freedom to 'do whatever i want' is liberating and i love that we can learn as our fancies take us. But on the other hand its freaky because what if i mess them up for life and they cant get into unviersity bcos their mother homeschooled them and all they ever learned was that astronauts poop gets freeze dried? before it can float away?

Stay tuned for further adventures in homeschool....

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