Sep 14, 2008

So when are we going to "start teaching"?

I got asked this the other day - when we were going to start teaching Miss4. Are we going to have a 'start date' on her fifth birthday, or start before then, or what?

I paused for a bit, wondering how to explain (nicely) that we had been 'teaching' her stuff since she was born, and wasn't sure what we'd actually be 'starting' that we hadn't already started. We'll be stopping kindy, because she can't go when she turns five. And we'll be starting Brownies, and heading along to our local weekly home-educators social catch-up more regularly (like, more than the once we've managed so far), and probably the swimming session with the same group, and maybe ice-skating lessons? But the actual "school stuff"?

So I hummed and haaaed a bit, and said, well, we'll probably be quite relaxed about it. Not do anything too differently from what we have been doing - she's already reading pretty well without us ever having sat her down and 'taught her to read' - about the reading age of a 9 year old (She likes to spend a lot of time sitting on the couch reading Asterix at the moment - I'm fairly sure she doesn't get the puns, but she asks a lot of thoughtful questions so is clearly comprehending the bulk of what she's reading. And heaven help you if you're reading out the chapter book and switch a word around, because she's reading over your shoulder...). So that's basic literacy kinda nailed. And we play a few 'maths' games - dominoes and dice games and card games, and she can do basic addition and subtraction. (We'll get onto advanced calculus when she feels the need for it). And the rest of education is all about life and the real world, meeting different people, doing stuff with others (of different ages and life experiences), getting a lot of exposure to ideas and having the time to think thoughts about the new ideas...

I guess I'm an 'unschooler'. Goodness.

And then my friend shared how well home-schooling had worked for a relative of hers, so we had quite a good wee discussion really

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