As I have mentioned before, I am trying to implement a more TJED/Classical type of learning to our homeschooling.
This morning, reading blogs (lol my favorite past-time), I was reminded of a great resource. Education World has some great hands on projects, games, etc. Dana, at School For Us is my hero today, for getting me back to this site. If you remember, when I was pining for my laptop, I mentioned that all my links were there. This would be one of them. Education World also has an amazing page of Math games that will I will be printing out for us to use as a reference for when we want to play a game. I plan to put the game instructions in a binder, according to what they concentrate on (ie: multiplication, order of operations, etc).
The Fact Monster hunts are one thing that I was hoping to find again. They provide worksheets for doing an internet hunt on their website. I have printed these off, and put them in a folder. They will be on of our acceptable activities during school hours.
I am going to be making up cards, listing acceptable activities that will be options for DB during the school hours. These will be activities that he can do after his schoolwork is done. I will share once I have completed the cards.
Now, DB is a child that, given the chance, would rather watch tv, or check out Youtube for hours on end, rather than do "school work". I was worried about the "Inspire not Require" portion of TJED because of this. But while discussing this and asking questions on the TJEdMuse group, Amy gave me this terrific response:
"My personal opinion is that there is a little bit of a misunderstanding floating out there about the key "inspire". It seems (just to me) that many parents hear that key and think that they can't require any academics or even suggest any required academics to their children under 12 years old. They dance around trying to make sure the child learns the fundamentals, but they are scared to "push" or "require" anything for fear of "doing it wrong". It is true that you shouldn't be pushing 5th grade math on a student just because he would be in 5th grade in public school. But if you honestly feel it is important for a student to learn something, just because it's also taught in public school, does not make it "conveyor belt.
Inspire is a great key, but it does not negate the fact that kids under 12 do need to learn some fundamentals. Of course, if it is truly stressful for them or they are not ready, there is nothing wrong with backing off. That is a call for the parent or mentor to make, who knows the student personally. I am not suggesting pushing a student into "hate of learning". But, I don't believe there is anything wrong with simply telling a student (especially one at 11 years old...probably not an 8 year old) that you know as the parent or mentor, that there are some basic ideas and skills that they need to know. They don't have to learn them perfectly, but it will make life much easier down the road. The studen'ts power and freedom (and what makes it not conveyor belt for our families), is they get to choose how to learn it, and I respect their preferences, making no judgements about their choices."
That so hit home for me. It just really spoke to my heart, and really has been a standing principle of my life and my homeschooling. I needed to be reminded of it though. No one way, is the right way to learn something. There are many ways to learn something, and as homeschoolers, we are keenly aware of the fact that each of our child is an individual.
It also provides me with the basic need I have for structure. In TJED, one of the driving principles is "Structure time, not content". The way that I choose to implement this is to say "We are doing school from 9-11 and 12-2:30". What DB will do during that time is cover the basics (reading, math, etc.) but he gets to choose what order he does them, and how to do them. My only requirement will be that he has to show me what he has learned that day. One way we will be doing this is through his "Daily Check List". This is a simple form that I made on the computer for him to write down everything he has done for the day. We will also discuss each day or so what he has learned.
A few other blog discoveries this morning include At Home Science and Ms Julie's Art School. Both have fabulous resources, lessons, and ideas. Definitely added to my list of must reads.
Dana also shared on her blog, about Google Reader. This is a great tool, and I am currently adding my favorites to it, separated by folders for each area (homeschooling, homesteading, etc). Once I have a good chunk of links to share, I will post the link here so you can check out what I am following.
Well, I guess that is enough to keep you pondering your own homeschooling for a day.