Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where learning takes place . . . .

We homeschool. That is to say, we have taken as a gift the opportunity to allow our children to learn in the most natural environment, in the ways that best fit each of them, on a daily basis. That environment is usually our home; the ways, well, are as different as each child on each day--to illustrate this point, I grabbed the camera today as "school" was happening, thinking maybe I would capture a few moments.

The Redhead was playing dollhouse--with the animal counters. The chickens and "chicklets"(ahem!!! I had to correct that, after we all cracked up hysterically!!!!)were climbing the stairs--later they were followed by the wolves and the cows; she said there was a line for the bathroom. . . .IMAGINATION! LOL.

The boy was playing with the Math blocks and Legos. He built this house--do you see Indiana Jones on the roof? More imagination at work--as well as fine-motor skill development and understanding of spatial relationships. . .He later joined the Redhead in the animal drama at the dollhouse.

The story at the dollhouse today involves pretending there is an animal "orphanage"/ shelter during a hurricane--trying to keep everyone safe. As I type this the animals are heading back down the stairs in a VERY orderly fashion--everyone knows that during strong winds the lower floor is safest. I suppose the dollhouse is not in a flood-prone area. Today is the anniversary of Hurricane Gustav which blew through our area--that day last year contrasted with the weather this year is truly remarkable.

J was having fun with Math on the computer while snuggling her bear, Sweetie.

C has a cold today but has been busy--she is producing a wonderful Impressionistic masterpiece with CRAYONS. I was amazed at the detail.

All this and we've hardly touched a worksheet today. That will come this afternoon, as needed.

What's your favorite "educational" activity? I think a large part of the joy in homeschooling is that I get to continue learning, too. The idea of "life-long learners" is bandied about quite a bit in the world of "professional" education, but I contend that children who are constantly in an artificial environment with pre-packaged ideas and scripted lessons will likely develop a mentality that learning is something to be done in a certain place, at certain times, and for a certain period of their lives. I know TOO MANY adults who are perfectly content to have "finished" school, and who don't enjoy reading or creating or THINKING. This is not a picture of one who LOVES to learn. . . .

That is one of my many hopes for these children, here. May they love to learn, may they love to love--each other, their friends, and their Creator, and may they have much practice at BOTH when their time in our little "school" is done.

Until then, let the Legos roam free, while the chickens toilet-train in the dollhouse bathroom. Let the teddy bears learn long division and let the budding artist draw flowers or read Mark Twain till midnight, at least a couple of nights a week!

They are only children once.

And may we all keep a bit of the wonder and joy of discovery that childhood embodies with US in our grown-up days.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them". Ecclesiastes 12:1

Happy Learning!!!!



Barry said...

great post, chick!

Allison said...

Wow what a great post. I don't know anyone who is as good with words as you are. You inspire me.