Monday, October 12, 2009

Mommy didn't pay attention in elementary school

Frankie and I have started our official homeschool experiment. Admittedly, since I just kept putting off a decision about preschool until eventually all of them were filled up, I came to this path by default, but rather than say that I was waffling back and forth so long that there were nothing but waiting lists in Frankie's educational future, I will instead henceforth say that I decided to homeschool her. I almost said heretofore instead of henceforth, so you are right to be suspicious about my qualifications.

I figure preschool is probably a forgiving place to start with homeschooling since they spend like five minutes learning about the calendar and the rest of the time having snacks and trying not to pee through their clothing and need the spare pair of pants in their Dora backpacks. I hope I haven't insulted preschool teachers everywhere. I don't mean to malign their abilities, only the abilities of their students.

I am overwhelmed by the options I have. The blogosphere is positively teeming with homeschooling ideas and I am not sure where to start. And it turns out that there a lot of normal people who homeschool. Really you don't have to wear denim skirts to mid-shin to be allowed to homeschool! You do have to find yourself with a natural predilection for raising chickens, grinding your own wheat and having a lot of balls of yarn. I fit right in! Except for the chickens, but I blame that on the city zoning rules. And the wheat grinding, but I do have whole wheat flour. That's close. Plus I own a lot of yarn. Exactly zero finished projects, but a lot of yarn. I taught myself to knit in West Virginia (Janice, you can't really expect me to admit that I learned to knit over a college spring break, can you? I mean, I have a reputation to uphold and that is just embarassing.) but I have children now and if you have children you can't knit. Because you will have one sleeve of a sweater when you kiss them farewell on their first day of fifth grade.

Anyway, the more I searched the Internet, the more I found myself completely paralyzed by indecision and getting so nervous about the sheer number of things I could and should be teaching (Latin for preschoolers, anyone?) that, well frankly, I was glad there was a bathroom nearby. I got so overwhelmed I had no choice but to put Frankie in front of an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. There! Those shows teach stuff, right? Maybe she can watch seven episodes a day and we'll call it school!

I randomly decided we would begin with learning about trees. Mainly I came to this decision in a wild panic and just looked around at the first thing that I saw and decided, aha! Trees! Everyone ought to learn about trees! Surely that is part of every child's education! See, I am a born educator! And Mickey Mouse did not even give me the idea.

Most of my efforts thus far have been concentrated on checking out large numbers of books from the library. Oodles of books about trees and bird nests and leaves and, I will be completely honest with you, I am learning more than Frankie is. Ask me anything about a chimney swift's nest. Go ahead, ask. You will be amazed at this homeschooling stuff.


Crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crystal said...

O.K., I will take your challenge. As you know my friend I am a bird LOVER, not because I know all the topics in Kendziera pre-school curriculum.

Why are Chimney Swift numbers declining? What is the nickname that Chimney swifts go by?

I am glad to hear homeschooling is going well for one of you at least. I sure wish I was there to see it : ) I saw a Nothern Mockingbird in the park just the othe day. Please show Frankie a photo if you can. Love you~

Molly said...

is frankie sensing the educational intent or does she just thinking you're reading for fun? do NOT let her sniff out the former. also, semi-homemade with sandra lee has some great teachings on tablescapes that any self-respecting 4 year old should know.

crunkincheer said...

Saskia, you are welcome to any and all of my lesson plans from my preschool teaching days (I have two years worth of activities!). Also, I have my theme page that shows a theme for each week of the year. It can be all yours and more, just let me know if you're interested! : )

Jan said...

What is even more sad than the fact that we spent our college spring break (which was in Colorado and could have been very chic) learning to knit is that we never did actually get any knitting accomplished. Illiterate cave women probably knit afghans for their families but you and I couldn't master wrapping yarn around two needles.

We should point out that we did snowboard. Maybe that will help our reputations. Although it won't help when we admit that we were so sore the next day that all we could do was sit on the couch and groan as we moved our not-so-nimble fingers in more fruitless attempts to knit.

SDK said...

I should have said you could ask any EXCEEDINGLY ELEMENTARY questions about chimney swifts. You need to come home to teach the bird unit.

Sandra Lee has some WONDERFUL tablescapes. And some wonderful sherbet recipes for cocktail hour.

Do the words AW HECK YEAH I AM INTERESTED mean anything?

We were losers. Lets call a spade a spade.