So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90.12

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Reading Breakthrough!

(graphic courtesy of  The Graphics Fairy )

This morning, my daughter discovered she can read some of her own books by herself.  She was so excited!  It's like someone flipped a switch - the little girl who hated reading and writing time is now becoming a reader.

Not to be overly negative about the public school, but I shudder to think what kind of a situation she would be in if we had let her finish the year.  When we took her out of public school just before Easter, she had a reading level of 10 (not sure what scale they were using) and they expected the "top dogs" (the teacher's words) to be at level 16 by mid-June.  It took her from September to April to struggle up to 10 and in order to not be overwhelmed going into Grade 2, she would have to try to get up 6 more levels in 8 weeks.  I don't even want to think about the stress.  The teacher also told me that they didn't hold kids back unless "the parents really insisted."

We really tried to take a more relaxed approach to schooling when we brought our daughter home.  We do have a general schedule and an approximate time frame, but no two days look the same.  And we're not perfect of course!  However, she is getting all the one-on-one attention she needs and I know what she is learning and reading all the time.  We now have time to have a good, cooked breakfast and devotions together every morning; time for activities, outings, and working together when we're not having "school time"; and time for family read-alouds in the evening.

Homeschooling is really a lifestyle.  In order to make life-long learners, you have to be able to show your kids how to use the information they are being taught.  If you took a recipe for chocolate cake, showed your kids the photo of the finished product, read out the list of ingredients, explained the steps and made sure they understood every term - even if you did all that you still wouldn't have a chocolate cake!  They might understand the process to make the cake but they haven't made one.  Another example could be geometry (by the way, I am not strong in math so I dread the day when I have to teach something I'm not good at!) .  You explain the concepts, they do the assigned problems, they comprehend the subject, but they have no idea how to use it in real life!  It's just "schoolwork" to them.  However, it's not something invented to torture people's brains with - it's useful!  Carpenters, landscapers, surveyors ... all kinds of jobs use this kind of math everyday.  You not only have to teach the concepts, you have to teach why you need to know these things.

"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." - William Butler Yeats

Thanks again for visiting today and I would love to read any comments you might have on this or any of my other posts!

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