Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaching the art of learning

School has started. When I told big one she was going to start home school this year, she informed me that she didn't need home school; she needs high school. She is two and three quarters after all.

Our schooling is simple and short. Counting, letters, art, reading, Bible, science. I plan for 30 minutes or less. This morning she surprised me by focusing for 40 and asking for more school. A hungry learner who cannot sit flat in her chair. I think my first report card said the exact same thing.

As if on cue, our first butterfly emerged yesterday. We crowded around the little habitat watching blue, orange and black wings unfold and strengthen. Within a few hours, he was ready for a release party. The girls waved and yelled, "Bye bye, Eric," as he rode the wind out of our yard. A swallowtail passes by the kitchen window this morning, and I wonder if Eric is visiting home.

My mom commented last night that I set up our cross curriculum learning well with the science behind the butterfly and practicing the letter B and an art project. It was a shame that the girls were too young to appreciate it. She's right, of course. The girls may see photos or saved scribbling in a phonic book, but they won't remember our first butterfly hatching and coloring butterfly wings. This year of school is not really about them. It's for me. I'm learning how to organize and prepare and create and teach.  Learn alongside them. Think school, so that we stay in a steady of state of watching and learning.

The title makes this post sound more authoritative than it is. I'm still studying theory for creating life-long learners. But I start with a great advantage: my momma taught us to learn and to enjoy learning. She won't give herself much credit for the job she did homeschooling us, but when I started reading homeschool theory, it all sounded very familiar. As if someone had lived it out for me. Thanks Momma.

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