A homeschooling mom’s dream come true: “Mom, we have not done school in there – pointing to the office we use as school room – in a long time. Tomorrow, I want you to teach me in that room, OK? I want to do math and spelling, OK?” This is one time when I don’t request my children say “please” at the end of their plea. By the way, said plea came from my son who is enjoying a great summer break with swimming on a swim team, youth camp, Summer Reading Program workshops at our local library, nature study, Little Bits experiments and violin and piano practice.
Yes, we are learning a lot through the summer. Just not in “that room.”
So what happened? Why the plea for math and spelling?
When he went to summer camp at Cohutta Springs, he got quizzed by the boys in his cabin. Apparently, he could not spell longer words. On the drive back from the camp, he asked me to teach him spelling – more spelling, that is, because we already started back in April. I was delighted to hear his desire because spelling is one of my favorite subjects and one of the reasons I wanted to homeschool the children. I did not want them to go to a school and hear their teacher say, “I’m not a good speller.” I have personally met teachers who laugh it off and downplay spelling. I happen to think spelling is very important, even in this computer age rife with Spellcheck…
And math? Well, he loves science and LEGO bricks and Little Bits circuits. Daddy encourages him and I encourage him and we help his progress along. And somewhere in our interaction, when he pronounces that he will invent this or that gadget when he “grows up,” we say to him, “You will need lots of math for your scientific inventions…” It sank in. He now sees math as his ally, an important tool in his arsenal.
I would be remiss if I did not tell you about my daughter’s request to be taught history. We finished the first volume of The Story of the World after the school year ended. I assumed we were all burned out of history and studying in general, so we floated through two weeks of summer vacation, preparing for our son’s departure to summer camp and my first speaking appointments at a homeschooling conference. There, I purchased the second volume (and the third and the fourth, because they were 60% off and Susan Wise Bauer said there would be no revisions in the next few years) of our history curriculum, plus the Activity Book.
Glad I did, because not two days later my daughter exclaimed, “We have not done history in a long time, mommy! When are we going to do history?” I was prepared… and very happy, of course. It’s so nice when children ask to be taught, when they are ready and eager to learn. This is why I decided to homeschool: to teach them. It’s the best part of my day and, apparently, it’s becoming the best part of their day, too.