Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Homeschooling is About

Have you ever tried so hard to do something, teach something or figure something out that you ended up frustrating yourself and everyone else? Tonight was one of those nights.

We are planning on participating in Journey North's Mystery Class . As one of the activities the students must figure out the photoperiod for their area and 10 others. I showed the picklets how to calculate the photoperiod for different sunrises and sunsets. And the more I tried to teach it to Sweet, the more frustrated she got. She cried. I hugged her and told her it was hard and it was OK that she didn't quite understand. She gasped through sobs that she only got one answer correct so far. I hugged her some more and told her it was OK. It is hard business and will take time to learn. Then she cried some more. I wanted to cry. Chip and Dill seemed to catch on OK and grew impatient waiting. I finally told everyone we were going to take a break. Goodness knows I needed it.

Chip came to me during my meditative period on the computer and said, "I think I have a system that will help Sweet." He showed it to me. It was easy, quick and correct. I did the problem his way and then counted out each hour and minute on the clock. His system was right each time.

I asked him if he would teach Sweet. He handed her a dry erase marker and said, "Let's learn!" They stood at the mirror together, Chip teaching Sweet, patiently and kindly. She would do one problem, erase and do another. It took only minutes for him to teach her what I couldn't in hours. My heart swelled.

THIS my friends, is what homeschooling is about. Letting the kids take charge. Letting go. Standing back and being amazed. I have been reluctant in the past to let go of this control. I now *really* know I need to let go, step back and watch things progress. Because they will absolutely astound me if I give them the chance.

I called Cool and told him about the "fiasco" (our pet word for times like this) and I could hear the pride in his voice when he said, "That's great!" It was so nice giving him good news, I should do it more often. :-)

Here's to good days and better days!

© 2008-2010 Wicked Pickles-Homefront Lines


Risa said...

Lovely post! My kids aren't as old as your yet, but the first time I hear my 7-year-old saying to my then 4-year-old: "That's right! That says 'dinosaur'! You're reading!" it totally reaffirmed for me why we homechool.

AFwife99 said...

What a great story. It is difficult to let go and let them lead, but you are doing a good job.