Monday, May 18, 2015

at home

I really like homeschooling.  It's nice having smart kids.  That makes it really a lot easier.  It's frustrating being around them so much.  But I love how close they are.  I love how they learn from each other, and that there are teachable moments every second.

I was reading something about how intense people feel the need to be with their homeschooled kids.  We don't plan to homeschool for HS so a lot of the need for tutors, for advanced level classes is not an issue.  And virtual education makes access to advanced level courses amazing.

I do want the kids to be able to function in a class setting.  Seeing them in Primary, I feel like they pick some of that up at church.  Our kids almost always have their materials.  They don't always remember to raise their hand.  And they tend to blurt out all the answers.  But I'm so proud of them for knowing the answers.

One of the great things about homeschool is the opportunity to brainwash our kids.  They aren't busy all day learning what is important to someone else.  They spend most of their day doing what they want and occasionally doing what is important to me.  Usually that is cleaning up, and apologizing if they were not kind to each other.  They are very self motivated learners.  They love tests.  The very act of sticking with a hard task is a ongoing lesson more important than any specific information they can learn.

I'm grateful for "Odd Squad".  The kids spend about 2 hours a day on the computer watching episodes of "Wild Krats", "Aurthor" and "Odd Squad" or playing games depending on whose turn it is.  There is only one machine that works right now so they have to take turns.  That's a life lesson.  If they fight, computer time is done.  That's for my sanity.

G and M are old enough now that they can go on a bike ride around the neighborhood any time we have 15 minutes to spare before whatever outings we go on.

As soon as seminary is over each day M is out the front door climbing a rope or tree.  G spends a lot of time just reading or building legos.  P is really into the activity book I could never get M interested in.  B follows folks around or does his own building activity if M will leave him alone.

Sometimes I have to review basic ideas like "change your clothes every day".  But in many ways they are learning to manage themselves. 

G is responsible for his homework from school.  If he doesn't get it done, simple consequences like loss of computer time get him re-motivated.  Similarly, his speech book and homework, he's eager to get it done because of consequences.

Today I needed small change for something.  I asked G if I could borrow some money from him.  He wanted 50% interest.  I told him I'd give him 10% interest.  We talked about how much that would be for each day it took me to pay him back.  I did pay him back today.  But he's already learned about interest.  Awesome!

M was making a half batch of brownies for FHE.  We spent some time calculating 1/2 of the ingredients: 1/4 c. water, 2/3 c. oil, and 2 eggs := 1 oz water, 1/3 c. oil and 1 egg.

P was bumping into G at dinner time and yelling at him to move.  So after some ignored instructions, I carried her to her room.  Later we sat down and reviewed what she had done and why it was a problem.

They're always learning.  Sometimes they're learning that if they bug me enough, I'll send them to their rooms.  Sometimes they learn other things.

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