Thursday, November 6, 2008

What grade is she in?

What grade ARE my children in? That's the weirdest question anymore. They are technically enrolled in specific grades, but because they can move on once grade specific subject matter is mastered, their curriculum is more of a spectrum. My pre-school son is following along in his sister's second grade science. She is so excited about history, that it appears we'll be moving on to the next grade history after Winter Break. It's not that my kids are geniuses...

Well... they *might* be.

The beauty of homeschool is that grade levels are really very relative. I used to see that as a danger. I didn't really trust myself to know if my kids were getting the right information at the right time? In reality, I found that being at home teaching them was the best way to make sure that they do get the right lessons at the right time. Because all children develop differently, both physically and emotionally, it's hard to keep a room full of kids on task, let alone on the right path for each student. My kids get stuck on any number of things just like they would in a traditional class room setting. However, because of this close arrangement, I'm able to stop and pay full attention to my struggling student in order to find the learning path that works best.

Recently, my daughter was having a tough time with the concept of writing The Lion and the Mouse from the perspective of the mouse. After watching her eyes glaze over listening to my explanation of perspective, I realized I had to get down on the ground. Down on the ground is the term I use to describe how I see things from my kids' perspectives. While I was down on the ground, wondering how I could get her to see this from the mouse's side, I realized she needed to be down on the ground. I pulled some scrapbook paper and curling ribbon out... add (or rather, take away) some holes, secure some tape and VOILA!

As much as I would love to have simple answers for those homeschool questions, the truth is that it's not that simple. And another truth is that it's not that easy. But it's great and I love teaching my kids. It's a joy to see their faces light up when they "get it." Certainly end of the year testing will verify that the state requirements were met and that my children/students have completed a grade and will move on to another.

But there is no single grade to attach to the experience of living and learning like this.


KingdomWriter said...

Wow, it sounds amazing what you are doing! Who cares about their grades when they get such one on one quality time with their cool teacher-mum? Good on you girl, impressive.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

I'm impressed. I don't think I could do it...don't think I can remember enough from my own schooling (darn childbirth and dead braincells!) to teach them!

Seriously, I'm impressed. I think I would go that route if I had it in me.

Brandice said...

Good stuff! I'm considering homeschooling next year (i was considering it this year too) and this is encouraging!