Saturday, February 7, 2009

Learning Should Be Fun!

I am the Field Trip Chair for our Co-op. I have been wanting to take the kids to a CYT (Christian Youth Theater) production for at least a couple of years now. When I saw that our local CYT was putting on School House Rock!, I knew we had to arrange a field trip.

As a kid, School House Rock was one of my favorite cartoons on Saturday mornings. I love music. I love music and learning put together. How can you go wrong with a combination like that? Music makes learning fun and makes facts easier to remember. I don't think I ever wouldn't passed the states test if we hadn't learned Fifty Nifty United States for the Spring Pageant at school.

I really enjoyed the "Live! Junior" version of School House Rock!. The play starts as a new teacher is waking up early to prepare for his first day of teaching. He turns on the TV and there is School House Rock...which comes to life in his Rec' Room. About half way through the play he says how great the songs are and how they are reminding him: of what you don't learn in school about teaching: "That learning should be fun!"

That's another reason why I was first interested in homeschooling. I believe that learning should be fun. Schooling should instill a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge in a child. I had many wonderful teachers in my school time, but I also had some who were not so wonderful. A teacher can excite a student about learning, or make learning a chore, or even a bore. I know that my brother, sister, and husband were bored many times in school. They were not challenged to their full capabilities. I did not want that for my children.

I love that homeschooling allows them to learn at their own pace. My kindergarten son is doing first grade math. I know he would be bored in regular school. He would probably finish his work early, and then get into trouble because he was bored. I know that is just speculation, my imagination, but that's the other thing about homeschooling: I know my son better than anyone, but God. So, I'm pretty sure I'm imagining fairly accurately.

My daughter is slower with math, more like her mother. I just didn't feel comfortable with math. I made good grades, but I honestly didn't "get" the ease of math until I started teaching her. Ironically, she doesn't "get" math, unless her Daddy is teaching her. We can say almost the exact same thing to her, but when he says it, it makes sense to her. That's not to say I didn't "get" formulas, etc...just use the formula and it works. Other classmates wanted to know "Why?". That never bothered me. I don't think I was ever taught math quite the right way for my learning style.

Another great thing about homeschooling is that I can use my children's learning styles to make learning easier and more fun! I can tailor their lessons to each of them. Find me another school that has such a small student to teacher ratio!

I am not a Science buff, but my kids LOVE Science. I try to follow their lead where that is concerned. For Kindergarten, Ellie was really into Outer Space and the Planets. So, although Science is usually not much of a subject, if any, in Kindergarten, we studied Astronomy! I can finally name all the planets in order! Both Ellie and Wyatt can point out the planets and name them faster than I can. Two years later, Ellie still gets SUPER excited when there is a NASA homeschooling video conference at the library! Wyatt will say Science is one of his favorite subjects, too, but Ellie does get more excited about Science.

I love when the kids say "You are the most fun Mom!"

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