Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A & B for Our Homeschool (ABC's of #Homeschooling)

In the middle of my husband's birthday game night, I happened to peek at Twitter.  I know, I know.  I just couldn't help myself.  You all are so fascinating sometimes. Someone (can't remember now, sorry!) mentioned the ABC's of Homeschooling, a new meme that sounded pretty cool!  You just choose a word that starts with the letter of the week and use it to talk homeschooling in some way.  I starred it to come back to today when I wasn't ignoring friends and family to do so, and am going to take the plunge and jump in.  This is a long term thing- there's a lot of letters in that alphabet.  I've fallen quite behind in joining into the Blog Cruise and don't have a great track record for weekly participation in memes but am going to give it the old college try (what does that mean, anyway?).  I missed A last week, so I thought I'd do a quick catch-up and go for A and B today.  Here goes nothin'!

A: Accept.

I need to accept myself and my family for who we are and where we are at as a family.  This doesn't mean making excuses for ourselves or not trying to grow.  I'm not talking about that at all.  What I am talking about is that bad old "C" word- compare.  We need to accept that we are not the type of family to learn Latin at age five, we aren't intellectuals (although we are quite intelligent), we don't spend our days happily practicing our classical music and we don't quote Jane Austen at the dinner table.  I don't love spending hours lesson planning and I will skip a science experiment if I don't have a kit with every last bloomin' thing already provided.  We can accept that it's okay to be exactly who we are and stop trying to be someone else.  

If we want to add in a little bit of classical music and Austen, that's great, but it's to stretch and grow and not because we think we need to be just like that family in our homeschool group. If I choose a pick-up and go curriculum or buy a kit that has every last bloomin' item needed in it, it's because I have accepted who I am as a teacher and know how to compensate for my weaknesses.  If one of my kids needs a week to learn a math concept her younger brother can grasp in a half hour, I need to accept her learning style and provide her the tools she needs as well.  We're always learning and growing and developing and we should strive for that, but we should also accept ourselves and our children just the way we were created.  We're unique and that's pretty special.

B: Books

I love books.  I am a proud bibliophile doing my best to create more bibliophiles in my family.  We always have a read aloud going and everyone has an independent book as well.  I will declare reading days and we will read all day.  When one of my kids is at the end of a great book and I need him to empty the dishwasher, I will leave the dishes in the sink just a little longer so they don't have to interrupt the flow of the story.  Reading is such a wonderful pastime.  There is so much to learn, from both fiction and non-fiction.  A good story can reach places in a person that a lecture never could.  A well written book will do more for your own writing abilities than a classroom lesson.  The world is full of stories and stories are full of worlds. Books are a huge part of my homeschool and I would have it no other way.

We've recently fallen in love with e-books and now have three Nooks in the house. One is mine, one belongs to my almost sixteen year old son, and one is to be shared among my four youngest.  All are well loved, the shared one also frequently argued over.  There are well over two hundred books on the Nooks alone, another two hundred twenty-five on the computer, and there's not a room in this house that isn't full of books.  When my daughter is married in July, her room shall become a library and maybe we'll be a bit more organized with our overflowing books (although I doubt they'll all fit in one room!). Give me my books and we'll have school, sometimes in our own worlds and sometimes together.  There's not a whole lot better than that!

What A & B words come to mind for your homeschool?


Stef said...

books - snapping finger - of course! How could I forget BOOKS?! haha!

Dawn @ 5 Kids and a Dog said...

LOL Stef!!

Thanks for linking up today! Please don't feel like you have to make up posts for weeks that you miss! I am keeping the linky's open from Tuesday through Friday midnight though, so there is time. :)

I'm like you-- I enjoy science but I'm terrible about gathering supplies and MUCH prefer to have it all in one place! I accept that I stink in this area. ;)

I also love what you said about not doing what this or that family from your homeschool group are doing. I often see the herd mentality in homeschool groups, and I see how much pressure it puts on (especially) newer homeschoolers, to fit in or "do it right". I remember feeling that I had to do those things too. Thanks for your honesty!

musicalmary said...

I love your post -- both your A & B are words for me, too. Thanks for stopping by my blog -- yes, I just have two children, so interest led learning is a little more feasible!

Have a great afternoon!


Katey said...

Hello from a fellow bibliophile...

wondersndreams said...

I am so jealous, I have wanted a nook or a kindle for a while now. Glad you joined in, can't wait to see next weeks letter :D

Becky said...

Accept is definitely a great word! We have always marched to our own drums, so the herd mentality is not a risk for us. Books is at the top of our lists, too! Our school room is ringed with book shelves...

Jessica S. @Mother of Action said...

I agree. I like both your A and B for homeschooling. Accept is a great word and a good trait to live by. Books are my favorite also. I love my kindle. One of the reason I got one is to get all the G.A. Henty books for FREE on Amazon. Most of the classics are free too...I just love that! Thanks for sharing.

TerriG said...

I have not heard of this meme. Oh what great inspiration. I'll be checking in to this. I always miss the blog cruises.


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