Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brain Overload

The synapses going on in my brain must look like the Magic Kingdom's firework display. I have so many ideas that branch out to more ideas that extend to "Let's go already!!" Hence, like the Year of the Sheep, I must wait until the school year is over to exercise what I plan to do. [ding]
There are a variety of homeschooling methods (yeah, new to me too), but it seems my natural approach to education is Multiple Intelligences (I think I could have come up with a better name but this was coined by Harvard people and they usually trademark anything that is spoken or farted). [ding] In any case, I requested a copy of the book from the library (call me cheap, or frugal if you want to be nice, but I refuse to pay for anything if I can get it free. Oh, and I LOVE libraries!) so I can research the topic. [ding]
If you are interested in MI (no, not Michigan), it's where you kind of figure out the best way a person learns and extend from there. For example, V is primarily an auditory learner so that reading a book unless its non-fiction is like asking my cat to fetch. He'll read chapter books but there is a lot of coaxing or blackmailing involved. [ding] However, audio books he loves. And now the library has these playaways that are portable tiny audio book thingys and he goes through them like his underwear (yeah, he changes his underwear a lot). He's completed the entire Harry Potter and Infinity Ring series and God knows what else. When there is a debate with friends about a part of a story, he can remember it practically verbatim; and he discusses sections of the book to me. That's a brief example of MI. [ding]
Under this link, is the story of the Hungry Caterpillar It's an example of Thematic Instruction. That's how I teach Spanish and you can use it with any topic. By the way, if you don't know Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you really need to crawl out of under that boulder. Tsk tsk. More than likely I will use it with my homeschooling projects. In Spanish, the kids will learn, let's say, about food. I will have them practice it individually, partners, groups. I will do memory games, have them do a Spanish menu, recreate a restaurant scene, and then visit them during lunch time and ask them in Spanish what they are having for lunch (and yes they respond in Spanish). [ding]
It's great fun and the kids absorb so much info without knowing it.
Okay, the "ding" is that BFF I told you about. Her name is Jill and she is sending me links upon links regarding homeschooling. One of the links is about quotes from famous people expressing their opinion on schooling. To humor her, I will end this with one of the quotes:

"Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality."
Helen Beatrix Potter

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Prospective Homeschooling

Not exactly sure what the hell I am doing. Honestly. After 18 years of marriage, I am suddenly divorced and free to choose what I want to do. [blank stare]
I've applied for jobs that I am perfect for but no bites. I continue to substitute and teach Spanish at my son's school but I feel like there's more out there for me. Then I read the "Motivation Manifesto". Yep. Pretty much I need to branch out of my comfort zone and do what I am meant to do. [crickets chirping]
I was thinking of going to Medford, OR because the IRS lady (I'm missing my check) told me how the weather is perfect there, nothing like the tundra I live in good ol' Chicago. Then, I started thinking about all the great travel offers I would like to take up but its always on school days...
Hence, homeschooling.
My neighbor and one of my BFF (gratefully I have many that are conspiring to pry me out of my shell) unschools her kids. Well, that's not totally my thing, but she gave me a few books to read (approx 10) on the subject and so far the Thomas Jefferson method is pretty cool.
I was thinking of doing the whole RV homeschool thing but I need to slow down and just stay home for a year and try it out.
My son, V, is ecstatic. "Why should we give the school 4K when we can use it and you can teach me. You're a teacher! We can have an adventure!!". He's 10 going on 60 and he's been dying to own a VW camper since Disney Cars. Again, I just got divorced!! I need to figure all the $$ crap out!
Do you know how the world of homeschooling has excelled from its dreary beginnings of odd, sequestered children? Holy cow. And I am living in the most child friendly cultural city. Field Museum offers DNA experiments from trees as well free guided tours of each exhibit and a chance to chat with the scientists. WTF?? AWESOME. That's just ONE thing I can do with V.
As I am reading about Thomas Jefferson's curriculum, V walks by and chimes in "Did you know that Thomas Jefferson was homeschooled?" OK, dude, I got it. Chill out.
It will be interesting to bring this up to the ex. He loves history and is a veteran of the USMC so he may want to contribute. Keep your fingers crossed!