Saturday, April 7, 2007

when did you start homeschooling

I am the type of person who, when confronted with a new situation, reads up on it. Found out I was pregnant, got all sorts of books about pregnancy, child-birth, new baby-care etc... Read everything I could get my hands on, decided what made sense to me, threw out what was left and went from there.

My favorite books were the "what to expect" books. I got the What to Expect when you are Expecting book, the What to Expect the First Year book, and the What to Expect the Toddler Years. And each one was worth it's weight in gold. With the 3rd book it gave developmental tips, ranges and your child should be able to, might be able to, could possibly be able to lists. It was like a little competition built in to each chapter, can my Punkin do any of this stuff?

Which is really what got me to looking for educational type stuff. We never allowed brain-dulling toys around our Punkins. All of the toys, especially when they were young, were imagination driven designed to stimulate mental growth, etc.... From chewy, touchy feely toys for babies, to blocks and things to dump/measure/pour for toddlers.

I saw so many parents getting there kids dollies that talk/cry/sleep/burp etc... that there was no room for the child's imagination. A lot of the toys out there are like that. Little barnyard sets where every animal is a button that will tell you "the cow says moo", or "D is for Duck", or whatever. But does not allow the child to set the animals in a row, make the horse fly or the chicken boss the other animals around. The animals just sit there stuck in place waiting to be pressed. Blech.

As Punkin #1 grew older, she became more interested in counting and ABC's so I ordered little monthly learning kits in the mail. They came with a book, workbook, stickers, and an arts-&-crafts project. We had a lot of fun with those pouring over them, filling in the questions, etc...

I think the willingness to homeschool for us just kind of grew out of what we were already doing.

So after reading Ayn Rand's article about the effects of public school on the developing mind, I knew I needed to do something different. Free day-care along with social indoctrination provided courtesy of the government wasn't going to cut it for my little Punkin.

I am very glad I found the Well-Trained Mind. It helped me break the elephant into bite-sized pieces. When you think of education your child as just taking one step at a time and it growing with your child it's not nearly as overwhelming as, "my daughter is 6 how will I ever do chemistry?????"

The next step, after determining on a method for learning to read (100 Easy Lessons) was to find a program for math. What I really needed to do was to touch and feel the options.

Off to a homeschooling convention....

5 comments:

tina said...

Good luck.

Anna said...

We may have different personal perspectives, but I sure share your academic approach!! Love the Well-Trained Mind as well as battery-free toys.

Best of luck in your homeschooling journey!

Fiery said...

Anna, welcome to my blog!

Homeschooling has been an amazing journey. It is remarkable that we have been at it 9 years now. I'm not sure that I can really claim a full 9 years of experience, but that is how much time has passed.

The Well-Trained Mind sets the bar very high, yet I always seem to come back to it when I am planning my school year.

As for battery-free toys- what a succinct way of putting it! One of the best things we ever did for the kids was to really promote intelligent, active toys.

Again, welcome!

karalford1 said...

Hey. I dont shart the atheist view at all and am a full believer from what I have seen im my life. However, I admire your wisdom to want your kids to have the best. I think you really want your kids to have creativity and intelligence. I respect that. Just remember that if you ever get down, prayer is helpful. I wish you luck in all you do and your kids too:)

Fiery said...

karalford1,

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I don't share the believer view point, at all. I spent my early years pretending to believe and got tired of having an imaginary friend. It has to do with the way my brain is wired. Science, Evolution, Reality and Personal Responsibility and all that.

If life gets too desperate I will burn an incense stick to the mother goddess and ask for Zeus' divine intervention.
:)