Our own personal history with homeschooling began because we had a precocious but demanding child. When the future Baron was a rug rat, Dymphna was working, so I took care of him. He was smart and inquisitive, and insisted on being read to a lot, or otherwise demanded that I entertain his mind.
When he was four years old, out of my own self-interest I taught him to read. I had been reading Calvin and Hobbes to him for a year or so, and he was absolutely riveted by the strip. The fB was a compliant child, and there was something compelling for him about Calvin’s persistent naughtiness and disregard for adult instructions. He had memorized many of the most important strips, and I showed him how he could find the words he knew so well in the speech balloons. He was an eager learner, because it allowed him to find and decipher other interesting panels without waiting for his annoying father to get around to reading them to him. Within a few months he could read Dr. Seuss and Richard Scarry on his own, and he was reading the Hardy Boys before he was six.
So when the time came for school, we were faced with a conundrum. There is nothing fatally wrong with the schools out here — we live in the country, and our school system is not as ideologically corrupted as those in the city and the suburbs. But the fB was so far ahead of his cohort that he would either have had to skip a couple of grades or be reduced to agonizing boredom. Since he was going to be a freak in any case, we felt it was better that he be freakish at home. We bought a curriculum, and I taught him literature, history, poetry, math, basic science, geography, etc., until he was twelve. At that point — when he needed real expertise in chemistry and physics — we sacrificed in order to send him to private school.
I’ll relate some more anecdotes about our homeschooling experiences in a future post, but it’s time to get back to the Carnival.
I always zoom in on the math first. The DreamBox Blog talks about teaching kids estimating, which is a very important skill. The ubiquity of calculators has greatly reduced children’s ability to estimate, and has consequently impaired quantitative analysis skills in the last generation or two of young people.
In addition, there’s a review of math textbooks for homeschoolers.
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After math, I moved onto art, which is my other favorite topic. I learned that Lionden Landing is teaching a child about the painting techniques employed by Giotto.
I also noticed a post about helping kids make their own books.
The above is just a small sampling — there are entries about science, literature, geography, and PE, all with an emphasis on the history of homeschooling. Stop by the Carnival to read the rest.
I recommend visiting the Common Room on a regular basis. The Headmistress and her family have much information about home-schooling, but their posts touch upon many other subjects as well.