Further Notes on Schooling
By Art Carden
Friday’s post got some great comments. Here are a few additional notes on schooling from someone new to home schooling (homeschooling? Home-schooling?):
1. What does it say about the quality of your product when you have trouble giving it away?
2. We have a friend who is considering home schooling (homeschooling? Home-schooling?) because posts by the teachers in her Facebook network are frequently riddled with spelling and grammar errors.
3. A few years ago, I requested a refund on my property taxes because we don’t use and won’t use government-run schools. I received no response. Here’s what I wrote, via Forbes.
4. We’re trying to combine the freedom of unschooling with the content of a classical education while, at the same time, building independence a la Montessori. We’re generally letting our kids self-direct but working to influence the contexts in which they make their decisions. Our oldest, for example, has really taken to a couple of the problem-solving games on abcya.com (this one in particular). I also got small guitars for the five-year-old and three-year-old; I still need to tune them, and I’m hoping to enlist our church’s worship leader for lessons.
5. We spend a lot of time reading, and we don’t fret about reading the same thing (or watching the same video) a thousand times. I remember reading in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point that repetition was one of the things that made Blue’s Clues so successful. With the games the kids are playing on the computer, I can see how they’re learning through practice and repetition. We’re going through the Jesus Storybook Bible in the evenings and reading the same story every night for a week. My goal is for the kids to be able to basically tell the story themselves by the end of the week.
6. As they get used to this, we’re going to introduce more content. The five-year-old is already enthusiastic about machines (elevators, trains, trucks, etc), and I really want the kids to know and understand the history and mythology of different civilizations. We have a picture book about Pegasus, for example, and I want to look for more stuff like this over the years.