Originally Posted by papayapetunia
I want to copy what the unschoolers have done with these threads about what your day is like.
I'll have a go. How much time do you actually spend on "lessons"?
-- We probably average 20 minutes a day of parent-directed lessons, where I'm actually teaching/explaining something in an effort to impart knowledge to my children. I'm sure that BeanBean spends at least 1.5 hours a day doing things which could be considered lessons or "schoolish;" For BooBah, probably more on the order of 45 minutes.How many days per week?
-- Four for me, but my children "work" every single day.What things does your family do that is different from the WTM model?
-- The age and grade ranges have been completely abolished in this family, but we've retained the sequence. I like the idea of doing things in particular order, but the idea of waiting for a certain "age" or "grade" is irritating to me. We also don't limit our studies nearly as rigidly as the WTM model suggests; for example, BeanBean was very interested in airplanes and flight last year, so we read lots and lots of books about airplanes, even though in the first year of history and science flight doesn't really come up at all. I will not plan for an entire day of study for my children; I want them to have time to pursue their own interests, so I won't do more than 45 minutes of directing on any given day without being dragged into it. It's much more important to me that my children have time to do the things that interest them than anything else, really. As far as I'm concerned, WTM provides a framework within which I can operate and feel comfortable. I don't need to spend 8 hours a day on it, and neither do my kids.What "fun" books does your child read?
-- Er, "Zac the Rat?"
Bean's pretty comfortable with early readers. BooBah is not yet reading.
Both of them enjoy it when I read to them, though. I just started The Magician's Nephew
. What books have you/your child read that correlate with the history period you are studying?
-- We're not doing history at the moment (I know, a WTM nono!
). I did a bit with them last year, but BeanBean wasn't interested. Honestly, I love the idea of a history framework, but BeanBean is more interested in science and math right now than anything else, and I'd rather have him happy and engaged in his learning than listening to a history book and being bored to tears.
I do plan to reintroduce our modified history curriculum in another month or two; I think BeanBean may be more interested now. He certainly loved watching Maya and Miguel visit the ancient people's exhibit today...
(J/K; He did, but that's not why I think he'll be more interested in history now.
)What parts of Classical Education do you/does your child thrive on/detest?
-- BeanBean is in the grammar stage, and he absolutely *loves* memorization. He's memorized all kinds of fun things on his own, and when I give him something to memorize he just hits the ceiling with excitement.
We're working through First Language Lessons and he absolutely *adores* "The Butterfly Book," as he calls it; I'm sure that his love of memorization and the fact that he's a total ham are a big part of that. BeanBean can't get enough of recitation, either. The science programs espoused by the book for grammar stage are a joke, but as science is my strong suit BeanBean has enjoyed biology (thus achieving the desired end result in the book: You want your child to say, when they are introduced to biology again in middle school, "yeah, I like biology!"). I haven't decided whether I should continue doing biology work with him, or I should move on to Earth Science next month.
I'll probably move on, just because Chibi is very eager to learn about space and that's part of the second year science curriculum.
We've tailored and changed a lot of things, though. BeanBean wanted to learn to write about 8 months ago, but found it very difficult and frustrating, so I just put it away. He's just not ready to write yet, and I don't have any problem at all waiting for his fine motor skills to catch up to his others, it's simply not an issue. He really loves dictating stories, though, and reciting memorized pieces is right up his alley (though he will shut down immediately if he feels any pressure to perform. It has to be *his idea* to recite for anyone, which is why he frequently does this for my mother and sisters but almost never for FIL.
). The whole point of home education is freedom, as far as I'm concerned. It's important to me to be very involved in their learning, especially at this stage of the game, but it's also important that my kids not burn out or get irritated with me. I never, ever force the kids to sit through lessons if they're not in the mood, nor do I require them to recite for anyone. I do, however, pay attention and offer suggestions when they seem warranted. BeanBean is all about mathematical stuff right now, as I mentioned earlier; he has manipulatives and workbooks at his disposal. Sometimes he wants me to sit down and show him how to do something, and other times he wants to play with them on his own. It doesn't matter to me at all*; I'm just very happy that he's learning and enjoying that experience.
Education should enable children to explore, not suck all of their exploring time down the toilet, know what I mean? Kids graduate from high school and even college having never had a chance to explore their own interests, to the point that they don't even know what those interests are anymore. My husband is a perfect example of this: he never knew what he wanted to do, because he was never able to pursue his own interests, school took up too much of his time. Today, he's one of millions of adults in this country with a bachelor's degree who is working in a field which is almost completely unrelated. He not only wasted the first 17 years of his life, but four and a half years of college tuition (for which he worked very hard, he paid his own way through school) only to end up working as a fleet manager for a trucking company.
We want more for our children. We want them to live in and be part of "the real world" before the magical age of 18; to be able to say, "I enjoy this and wish to pursue it further," at any age. I like The Well-Trained Mind because I feel that, by using it as a framework, I can feel comfortable that my children are getting a well-rounded education (something which I feel isn't possible in most public schools). On the other hand, the reasons that I'm home educating my children have a lot more in common with unschooling than with TWTM. It's not about elitism, it's about freedom and self-knowledge. I feel like my job as a parent and a home educator is to facilitate learning and growth, to provide a helpful, enriching environment for my children to the best of my abilities.
I really like the "Classical Hybrid" label; it's more fun than "child-inspired classical."
Mind if I "borrow" it?
(*I should, in all fairness, say that I'm not sure if I'd feel the same way about this if I had older children. I'm kind of tense, and I can't tell you for certain that I'd be just as mellow about, say, a 12 year old who wasn't interested in learning to write letters because he found it frustrating and trying. I can't say that I'd just sit back and wait for him to grow into it, without seeking special services of some kind.)