Sunday, June 29, 2014

On not 'doing school'

I just realized that this is the year that K will be 5. And, while that doesn't matter a bit to me, it matters tremendously to Kevin. He's a first generation homeschool dad, you see, and, while he is always respectful, he does worry that we 'won't cover all the bases' with our kids as we homeschool.
That just makes me grin.

Which doesn't help.

I've almost decided that it is all a matter of presentation. I could say, for example, that we are doing 'music appreciation', when what I really think we are doing is listening to classical music. If the kids ask about it, I'll tell them who wrote it and what it's called. But is it 'doing school?'
Or I could say we're doing 'language arts', when what I really think we're doing is writing cards for people we love. Once again, I wouldn't think of it as 'schooling,' but I could present it that way.

The only area in which I really suspect that we will need to 'do school' would be math. I can see myself buying workbooks, and sitting down to supervise. Perhaps I should do that part of life when Kevin is around to observe and be reassured.

I have Charlotte Mason leanings, you see. And, while I don't even know all that will entail, I do know that I want to see my kids learn most or all of their history lessons from interesting books, rather than workbook-style compendiums of facts. I want their nature study to be done outside; their social and economic ideas to be informed by the bible, newspaper, history, and daddy; and their language arts to be the furthest thing from lists of prepositions ever.

I may someday turn to textbooks (rather than what C Mason calls 'living books')  in order to 'fit in' in a school setting. I can see this being useful as my kids prepare for university, or if one of them wants to teach for a living or a mission.
I may also use them as supplements, if I notice a gap in someone's knowledge of writing, say, or for phonics.

Well, there it is. The beginning. My thoughts on what we will be.
Writing it out here is a sort of insurance for me; it will help me resist the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses thoughts that I know will come. The Joneses toddlers have art appreciation mixed into their spelling workbooks, you know. It's hard to keep myself from feeling that I'm withholding something the kids really need.
I'll have to read lots of Mason, to be continually inspired and challenged in the right direction; away from busywork, towards a life that helps us all develop in healthy ways, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Ultimately, I want my kids to enjoy learning and ideas, but not to just stop there... I want their ideas and increasing knowledge to expand their capacity to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

I expect to change.  Let's see what happens!

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