Thursday, 8 September 2011

Homeschooling Perks

I'm hooked on homeschooling!

It truly has been an amazing week.

No, it has not been perfect.  And yes, I have had to deal with uncooperative moods and the occasional melt down, but it has been fun and I am confident that I am doing what is best for my boys.

The best part is that I finally get the chance to do all the things I want to do with my kids, but could not seem to find time for in the day while they were in school.  First of all, reading books with my kids has always been very important to me, but I find that just before bedtime, which is the only time we could seem to fit it in, is never good because after a long day of hands-on parenting and high-maintenance kids, I am stumbling around feeling shell-shocked from the day's events and want nothing more than to crawl in amongst the coziness of my plush duvet.  Ahhhh . . . sweet refuge!  Needless to say, our bedtime stories are often rushed through or skipped entirely.  Also, I found it very difficult to stick with a lengthy chapter book because at this time of day, I never had the patience to read more than one chapter at a time, which makes the whole process of finishing a novel too lengthy and causes the kids to become disinterested.

But now!

Oh, how wonderful it has been.

Each morning, we take a snack break, curl up on the couch, usually under a blanket, and read a couple of chapters from "The Inventions of Hugo Cabret".  The boys are loving it, and I love hearing them talk about it throughout the day.

I wonder who the old man is?

Yikes!  I wonder if he is his father?

No, I doubt it, but I don't believe his father died in that fire.

Do you think we could make an automaton?

Hmmm . . . perhaps.

This is what reading literature is all about.  It is about being lost in the world it creates, becoming intellectually engaged with the characters, and marvelling at the spin off of ideas that erupt from it.

This is what I wanted to teach my boys this year.

Second of all, when my kids were little, we loved going on field trips. Often, we would jump on a bus and head up town to see what we could discover.  Unfortunately, that all ended when school schedules, homework, and extra-curricular activities began to dictate our life.  All of a sudden there was no more time for spontaneous adventures, which is really sad because the older your kids get the more fun these expeditions can be. Well, yesterday, this is exactly what the boys and I did.  Okay, minus the spontaneous part because, yeah, I am no longer that cool and I very much like an itinerary.  Since we are taking the first month of our Social Studies class to learn about Canada, I decided to dedicate this month's art lesson to the study of Canadian artists, and the first one that comes to my mind is John Hooper.  This was really exciting for the boys because they used to go to school with John Hooper's grandson and they were familiar with his statues.   But yesterday, unlike past trips to Market Square, we did not simply walk by them and say "Oh, Sam's Grampy made those!", we took the time to look at them, to touch them, and to talk about them.  Tomorrow, we are even going to try our hand at making similar statues with clay.  I am so excited!!

Although Elliot did not feel up to having his picture taken with the sculptures like his younger brother, the ham, he was intrigued by this lesson and talked non-stop about what he thought was going through Mr. Hooper's mind while making these statues, why he thought Mr. Hooper chose to sculpt with wood, and the possible stories you could make up about each of the sculptures.  Hmmm . . . perhaps we have a little artist on our hands.

The boys surmise that this statue is waiting for his wife because he is holding flowers.  Awww!  They are going to be fantastic husbands someday.  They were also intrigued when I told them that up until a few years ago this statue was a security guard and used to hold a walkie-talkie in his hand rather than the flowers.  I went onto explain that the Hooper family decided to change his identity since he was taking a lot of abuse from delinquent passersby.  Ha! Ha!

So, in spite of my evenings spent making lesson plans and my afternoons spent making sure the boys, who have spent the entire day together, do not kill one another, it is these moments that are going to make our homeschooling year so memorable and oh, so very enjoyable!



1 comment:

  1. Oh, it sounds like fun! Madlyn loves the sculpture of the man with the flowers. When she was younger she used to pretend that the flowers were for her, and she would go up and 'talk' to the man. She was so cute (and still is hehe!).