Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back to the Beginning, Again

When I began this blog, I said I wanted school to be more than something we check off our list everyday, to find the adventure in learning again. So with this idea in mind (remember, I am quite the idealist), we officially began a new year today with a new attitude towards learning. Of course all six of us learn differently and for now, we are going with it.

Lindsay wants freedom to explore her own interests - this is why we homeschool, right? So we have given her the wheel this year. We have had conversations with her about realistic goals for her age and ability and we are letting her choose what and how to accomplish these goals. She has made her own list of books to read this semester and dove right into Latin II this morning.
Alex just wants a list of things to do (contrary to our new attitude) so he can check them off and be free to pursue other learning opportunities (in the form of baseball and video games). He's a little tricky. I think it will take a little more work for him to acquire this new attitude and not see school work as a chore.

Jonathan is a little easier. he's content to read or be read to, he memorizes things easily and still loves to pretend. We did have a little snag today with him. In an effort to emphasize learning as a lifestyle and not a check list or something we begin and end, I did not make a huge deal out of our first day. Unfortunately, Jonathan was a little disappointed that we didn't have the usual fanfare. I think going to the pool today will more than make up for that snag. Seven-year-olds are easy that way.

Overall, it was a good day and at the end when we asked the kids what they had learned, we didn't hear lots of facts. Lindsay talked about life lessons in taking care of family, Alex was intrigued about why Paul said deacons have to be so upright, and Jonathan (in the fact gathering stage) did tell us the state and capitals he learned from a book he is reading.

For me, the lesson came at the very end of the day from a comment by Lindsay about a book she is reading by Donald Miller. In his book, he comments about a friend's work ethic and how our work, no matter what we do, is simply a form of worship.

cooking dinner, cleaning toilets
teaching algebra, reading biology again
correcting children, wiping noses
checking in on family members,
looking after nieces and nephews, being a friend
a form of worship to the Creator of the universe
Who gave me this incredible opportunity.