24 October 2011

What is Hebrew?

My son is the funniest four year old person, perhaps, of all time.
And maybe a bit weird. 

In the last 23 minutes, these are our interactions, as close to word for word as I can get them.

20 October 2011

beautiful brains

 Overheard, a few moments ago: 

Eas:  "The world is not fair."
Ada:  "What do you mean?"
Eas:  "In North America we have machines and all that stuff and in Africa and Asia they don't." 
Ada:  "I know, buddy.  I told you that." 
Eas:  "I don't think so.  I don't think anyone told me that.  I think I just know that." 

Eight Observations

06 October 2011

Not Whilst Frolicking in the Field

To become well-educated, a person must, at some point, take ownership of his or her education.  We can have compulsory attendance, but there is no such thing as compulsory education.  Lead a horse to water, but yadda yadda yadda.

I am privileged to teach a wonderful bunch of kids at Jackson Classical, the halfschool/half homeschool program that is kind enough to employ me and receive my older two urchins.

I get to have the third through eighth graders for
English Grammar, and
Critical Thinking, which is an amalgamation of brain teasers, LSAT-esque logic problems, real-life inspired situationals (Yes, I made up that word), and other things I dream up to help them give their brains a daily workout.  And yes, now after writing that sentence, I am tempted to brand myself a Brain Personal Trainer.

I work alongside some great teachers who have the kids for Ballet, Gymnastics, Art, History, Creative Writing, Robotics (using LEGOs, yes, be jealous), Piano, Violin, and on and on.

It's a full load for the kids.  And we're only there two days a week. 

The fact that the process of learning must be self-owned is never more apparent than in whole or partial home-education.  In normal ol' school, you at least have possession of the kids for 35 ish hours  a week.  Not me, I get each of these kids for four hours a week.  A whopping four hours.  Two hours on Monday, Two on Wednesday.  It boils down to roughly 40 minutes each day for Latin, 30 minutes each for Literature and Critical Thinking and then 20 for English Grammar.

Is this enough for mastery?

Of course not.

We're homeschoolers after all.  So, much of the work is done at home.  

We're two months into school, almost, and the new has worn off.  My students are no longer enthused by their binders, books and colored pencils.  The shiny is gone.  The drive has fizzled.  Only the truly type-A, or the ones who came into this world with an undeterred intellectual curiosity, are still engaged. 

Last week, I sent them a note with a verse from Colossians in which we are exhorted to work heartily - to do all things with all our might for the Lord.

It didn't work.  Or maybe it just hasn't yet worked.  Or maybe they haven't read the note.  Either way, I had more grumbling and undone homework this week.  And I'll not place the blame on the parents.  I mean, I might, in certain circumstances, but if one starts doing that, it enables children to, again, not take ownership of their own education.