Friday, June 27, 2008

School Stuff

I'm in a period of research and decision as I try to figure out what in the world I'm going to do with Frannie and school. I still don't know if I want to send her to traditional kindergarden or do the homeschooling thing. I think it is going to take me a long time to really figure this out, and even after I make my decision, I'm sure I'll still feel somewhat unsure of myself ("Did I make the right decision?") So, for the time being, I'm trying some new things. The above picture is a macaroni letter poster that she made and some "letter search" worksheets I made for her. She is now a confirmed lefty so she's finally getting better at holding a marker and making circles and things. She is learning the letters of the alphabet but does not yet understand that putting the letters together is what forms words. She thinks the letter is a word. Or rather, she thinks the letter represents many words. "M is for Mom! and Mickey Mouse!" so whenever she sees the letter M she thinks it says Mom or Mickey Mouse. She'll figure it out in time. So far she recognizes A, B, C, F, H, I, J, M, N, O, P, R, S, V, W, Y. Just uppercase mostly. I have also stepped up the reading-aloud. I have a "date" with the library on Wednesdays and instead of only visiting the movie section, hey! might as well check out them neat books too! I never really know what to get since there are so many, so I've taken to clearing out the display books.

As for me, I'm currently reading a homeschooling book called The Well-Trained Mind It is a book about classical education and it is appealing to me because the whole reason I started considering homeschooling in the first place is because I simply want my children to get a good education. This book is all about how to structure a good classical education. As I read more, I'll figure out what that really means (I'm only on pg 14 so far).

This is slightly off-topic but one of the things the author of The Well-Trained Mind talks about right off is that this style of classical education called "the trivium" is how school-systems used to teach. My father once showed me an 8th grade test taken by my great-grandmother Verneize. She only had formal-schooling to the eighth grade and was apparently embarrased by that. She, like my great grandfather, was from a poor farming family in Oklahoma. (Dad, help me if I don't have my facts straight.) Anyways, I saw this test (mind you I was 19 years old) and could barely answer any of the questions. It was HARD! There were so many grammer questions I had no clue about. There were poetry questions that just flew over my head. I could only easily do the math. It was humbling, to say the least, to see that she was clearly better-educated as an eighth grader than I was as a new college student. So some of my motivation to consider homeschooling, and a classical education, comes from that experience many years ago.

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