Friday, July 27, 2007

Mono invades my house and ramblings on learning

My oldest, Clay, has mono. Yes, the kissing disease. He swears up and down he hasn't kissed and icky girls and is really offended by this ailment. We thought it was a horrid case of strep throat, which I think my son could have tolerated better, but it's not. So for now there's lots of laying around the house, drinking water and gargling with salt water. Did you know that too much moving around while in a mono flare up can lead to a ruptured spleen? Did you know that the virus stays in your body the rest of your life and that you can have flare ups and the older you are, the worse it is.
Dr. Weil's Information on Mono

Last night I started reading "What the Rest of Us Can Learn from Homeschooling" by Linda Dobson.

I'm not a homeschooler, although I like to think I homeschool the preschool years. I teach my kids the ABC's, colors, numbers, shapes, we learn about bugs, read stories, cook, build etc.. Clay was even reading when he started kindergarten. We do kid led learning and learn through play. Clay has been going to a public school for 3 grades now and will start 3rd in the fall. So far I've been pretty happy with his schooling and teachers. I do, however, want to enrich his learning experience (as well as my other 3). I want to be able to delve in and explore topics that interest him. For example, maybe at school, they did a unit study on space and he really gets interested in the moon. There are all kinds of books we can read, resources on the net, we can even use a telescope to study it. We can take more time learning about what interests him than he gets in school. By learning about what he likes, it will more than likely keep the spark of curiosity and learning alive within him.

One of the things Dobson talks about in her first chapter is focusing on learning and not on teaching. "Children don't need to be 'taught' as much as they need a rich environment with tools and opportunities to learn"... pg 8. That's good advice. I believe that children are sponges. If we surround them with enough tools and opportunities for their own learning they'll never stop wanting to learn. Drilling math facts into their brains for 3 hours a day is more likely to make them resentful of math. But, letting them play a math game, or providing something like an abacus, beans to count, etc makes it fun and they love to do it. So my focus is going to shift from "teaching" my children to guiding them in their endeavours to learn.

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