homeschooling update

We are still at it. Everyday. Plowing through material. Nailling down concepts. Fighting over details.

Homeschooling is hard. I think it might be harder than traditional teaching, though I feel like I am getting better at it. It’s harder because there is a toddler hanging around needing things. I can’t give Andrew my full attention for too long before Isaac needs something. And Andrew is still learning how to work independently in an effective way, so my full attention is still pretty crucial.

Homeschooling is also hard because the mother:son dynamic is more complicated than the teacher:student dynamic. Well, perhaps on this point, it’s a wash. I know Andrew more thoroughly than I’ve known any of my students. I can pinpoint where he’s at and feel pretty confident about where to take him next. Our lessons are more succinct because of that. But, I’m also VEEEEERY invested in his education, because he’s my son. When a student of mine didn’t understand something, I didn’t take it too personally. I’d just work with him on it. But with Andrew? It can stress me out. Especially since I know he’ll be returning to school at some point and I need to keep him on target. And that is where the mother:son dynamic gets tricky.

And the home part of homeschooling is hard too. There’s not the support of a whole school with it’s books and curriculum and manipulatives and teacher prep periods! There is no administration poking their heads in my dining room giving praise and encouragement and making sure to bring perspective parents by MY room because of how smoothly it runs. Ahem. I sort of loved that.

But…you knew there would be a ‘but’ right?…. I love it. I really, really enjoy it. I love learning with Andrew and watching him grow. It’s really, really hard work. But, as these things tend to go, it’s really, really rewarding too.

It looks like Andrew will be returning to school this Spring. I’m not sure when, but I’ll keep you posted. The program is pretty fantastic and it needed to be for me to consider it. I’m getting pretty fussy about these things because we got pretty burned last fall and I don’t think we’ve fully recovered yet. Bleh. But, while I’ve still got him home there are a few more things I want to do. And one of them is recording what this experience has been like for me and him and us. And so, I guess this post is Part 1 of that process.

Yesterday we met up with the Johnstons. We’ve been studying cities…what cities have, what cities need, landmarks in our cities. We read about the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s history and construction and made models of it. I love the Brooklyn Bridge. And I think now the kids do too! (and they ate up that terrible raspberry bread just like Susan said they would!)

We’ve finished our study of the human body and I wanted to share with you some of Andrew’s drawings. He IS the next Tim Burton, I tell you! ;)

This he drew at the beginning of the unit:

There are lines here and there for bones, circles in his fingers and shoulders for muscles, and enormous eyes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture.

Then at the end of the unit he drew this:

Ta-Dah! Check out that small intestine! And the lungs!! And in the neck he drew an esophagus AND a windpipe! awwww yeah! Atta Boy!

hmmm….Sorry. This was a long and rambling post. Who made it to the end?!? Mom? Anybody? gulp.

Tomorrow’s will be shorter. Promise.

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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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10 Responses to homeschooling update

  1. Miss Vicki says:

    Name me another five-year old who could differentiate between the esophagus and the trachea. Atta boy Andrew!

  2. Susan says:

    And now for something utterly frivolous: I definitely need to lose some of those orange wood tones in my dining room ;) My kids are so much cuter when you photograph them at your house.

    • robyn says:

      Susan, I think the backdrop of a wall of books makes these photos especially academic. Makes us look very studious. We just need to get glasses on some of those kids to really nail it.

  3. Mama V says:

    I love long, full posts! Spill out the goods, baby!

    My boys go ga-ga for the Brooklyn Bridge (and I do, too). I want to see how those art projects the kids made of the bridge at Susan’s turned out!

    So impressed that Andrew knows so many internal body parts! It’s such an abstract concept! I can assure you that kindergartners in my son’s school are not learning such things. And they’re certainly not being tested on it (they’re annoyingly crazy about testing for everything). Other (external) body-related stuff is just about it. Love it!

    I bet 25% of adults can’t correctly spell the word “muscles.” And does he just love the intestines (you know, mazes!)?!

    • robyn says:

      Thanks V Mama,

      The intestines were the first internal organ he added. And after every meal he reminds us that in 18 hours this food we just ate will have made it all the way through our digestive tracks and we’ll need to use the bathroom. VERY helpful, no? So he’s definitely more into the digestive system than the other systems. I’m more of a nervous system girl, myself. That stuff is SO COOL.

  4. Mama V says:

    Hah, love it! My boys don’t put it nearly as politely as Andrew does. With Jesse, it goes something like this: “The food goes in my mouth and down, down down [as he uses his finger to point out the path along his throat] and into my tummy… and then I do kaka. hah hah hah!!!!”

    The books DO make the gathering seem so official! Nice touch, gang!

    • Marti says:

      I confess I was wondering myself whether Andrew actually says “use the bathroom.” Somehow I suspect some mama whitewashing of little-boy terminology for what happens 18 hours later… ;)

  5. Marti says:

    Loved this post. Thanks, Robyn.

  6. Plume says:

    I really liked this post also. Andrew’s one smart little guy.

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