Thursday, August 25, 2005

But what do homeschoolers do that's better than public school?

Expat Teacher wants specifics. Why don't you folks go give him some? Other people had already mentioned some of the nonacademic benefits, but I thought he wanted some academic benefits as well. Here's part of my post:

But Expat asked: "WHAT do we teach?" Let's tell him. My older daughter just turned six and started "first grade". Here's what she's learning:

MATH - She's already finished a standard first grade math curriculum and is halfway through the first year of Singapore Math. Redundant I know, but we've got the time.

HANDWRITING - We finished the first-grade workbook last week and started the supplemental "Draw Write Now"

PEN-PAL WRITING - at least once a week.

JUMPSTART WORKBOOKS - She's halfway through the 2cnd grade workbook.

LITERATURE - We're read the Greek myths, folk tales and creation stories from around the world, most of the Golden Age of Children's Literature and started on Victorian poetry. Later this year we'll begin children's version of the Iliad, the Odyssey and other ancient literary works.

MEMORIZATION - a poem every other week and a list about once every other month. Want hear her tell you the ages of history, the names of the planets or "Now We Are Six"?

GRAMMAR - We're working on the parts of speach.

PHONICS - in depth

SPELLING - We'll finish the first grade spelling workbook next month.

PICTURE STUDY - using great paintings.

NATURE STUDY - using plants and most recently the monarch butterflies hatching out right under their window.

HISTORY - We've already covered the dinosaurs and worked our way up to the Neanderthals. When the heat breaks in a few weeks we'll be making cave paintings on the side of a shed and neolithic pottery. We'll be spending the first through fourth grades studying world history from start to finish. Then we'll do it again for another four years in more depth when they're older. By then they should be ready for the Great Books.

LIFE SCIENCES - Botany went all summer, from when we planted the seeds through picking the fruits. My six-year old also insisted on learning herbalism and can make a nice cup of fresh herb tea.

We'll start zoology next month and study animals in the order they evolved. Human biology will come after that, and knowing how interested my six year old is in that she will insist on giving it the most indepth study of all.

Earth Sciences and Astronomy will be next year, followed by a year of chemistry and another year of physics. By fifth grade they ought to be ready to start studying the "whys" behind those subjects.

LATIN - Okay, we haven't started it yet, but we'll begin right after we finish phonics which will coincide with studying Ancient Rome.

EFFICIENCY - We're through with all that before lunch.

RECESS - They don't have that at the local public school any more.

ARTS, CRAFTS & MUSIC - all afternoon long if she wants. Or whatever else she wants to explore. Recent interests include painting, drawing, crochet, piano, the recorder, beading, sewing, draping saris and veil-dancing.

SOCIALIZATION - That's what parks, playgrounds, Girl Scouts and other clubs are for.

In a few years we'll be adding logic, rhetoric, another foreign language and whatever else she wants to learn.

It would be better to ask would she NOT be learning in a first-grade class at the public school. What would she have to give up for the priviledge of getting out of bed at 5:00 and learning how to stand in line?

Did I mention she already reads at a fourth-grade level and can finish a chapter book in an afternoon? What could school give her besides boredom, frustration and a reason to act out?


COD said...

Bleh! I decided yesterday that I'm going to stop engaging all these homeschool critics on the Internet. I don't owe anybody an explination of what we do or why we do it.

Lioness said...

*snicker* Thats the great thing about the internet. You can engage them once, and refer future pugilists back to your original post.

jettybetty said...

You are one of the ones that I do pray God blesses.

Does this sound like a desert to you?

"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."
Matthew 5:13-16


Lioness said...

I was there when the "salt and light" squad swept into our church. They said, "You have gone too long being able to make up your own minds about what the Bible says. From now on we'll do the interpreting for you. Trust and obey us or leave." They left a rash of divorces, broken families and broken communities in their wake.

Of course, that was 20 years ago. Now that the churches have been ethnically -- excused me, "theologically cleansed" they like to pretend they're all misunderstood sweethearts. But I'll go to my grave remembering exactly what a salted and scorched church looked like.

Don't pray for me. Pray for the ones who don't know their own church's history.

jettybetty said...

I am so sorry you have had some horrible experiences with *church*. You probably know it's not supposed to be that way. On earth, we experience humans that screw up all kinds of good things.

I am praying for you--people have messed up everything God has in mind for them from broken families to cazillions of other things. I still believe Jesus is the answer. I am just so sorry somewhere along the way *people* (and it could be people just like me) messed that up so you can't believe that today.

I really am very sorry.

I will pray for those who don't know their own church history as well.


Lioness said...

Don't mourn, organize.

What are YOU going to do to prevent church abuse in the future?

Besides pray?

Ah, yet another round of thunderous silence in responce to that question.

jettybetty said...

I really do **try** to help those that have suffered from "church abuse"--I feel like I WAS one of those people and I know that it is a very hard thing. I do see God working--abuse is not something you can snap your fingers and have it gone--I think it's a process. Sometimes a long, hard process.

I don't know if you believe in prayer--I do believe God really does listen to our prayers. I believe He is all powerful, even though I have no real power personally.

Do you feel like anyone really understands what you have been through? (I am not talking about God now, I am talking about people)

What else am I doing? My children are grown (ages 19-23, we have 3)--and we tried to raise them differently--so they understand "God" "church"--all the Christian terms in a very different way. You would have to ask them, if we succeeded. I do have much hope for this next generation. My generation made many mistakes, but I see some very encouraging things from the 20-35 year old group (is that Gen X?).