spectating participant

August 21, 2008

School starting soon.

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 4:09 pm

Alex and Craft Room

Originally uploaded by xixstar

Back to school season seems in full swing everywhere else but here. We’ve decided to homeschool Alex and there just isn’t any hustle and bustle in preparation. Especially, because we’re even following the unschooling philosophy, which seems to have even less back to school fanfare than the more school-at-home philosophies.

On top of the unschooling, we’re even starting out deschooling - basically not really focusing on anything “school-like” and just taking time to rekindle the natural, intuitive drive to learn. We’re taking things slow, picking up just a couple of activities (all sports driven: competitive soccer, archery, bike riding) and taking advantage of free programs offered at the library (which we’d do even if we were in school).

So far, I’ve planned one small activity for school and I’ll admit it’s mostly for me and so that I’ll have something to present for the annual reviews we’ll have to do with the county school system. While at the library, I picked up some books on poetry and ran the idea past Alex - “hey, how about we start off the school year looking at poetry.” Alex groan at this and I shrugged and said that I just wanted to do some daily reading of poem out loud, and nothing more. No analyzing required and she certainly doesn’t have to write poetry. That idea sounded great to her. She’s happy, I’m happy, sounds good.

The schooling comments have already started with family members though. I don’t mind, people can comment all they want and have all the opinions that they want — it’s not their life or their choice. Though, I still find it amusing that so many people feel the need to share their “concerns” based soley on their personal perception (or imagination, since so far, there is nothing to percieve) of what we’re doing and what we should be doing.

This was rather amusing in talking with my sister - she was commenting on how teaching Alex the “hard” math classes (ya know, calculus, and such) will be a lot of work. I just agreed, letting the subject pass. Didn’t think it was worth saying that I have no intention of teaching calculus nor do I think Alex has any interest in learning it - and if she does, we’ll figure something out (Chris said he’d love to teach calculus). But, what I found amusing was how she then told me about a college math class she just completed, how hard it was (though she still did well in the class), and we both agreed on what a waste of time learning most of it is because we NEVER use it. Plotting graphs and slope and all that fun stuff — absolutely pointless in my day to day life. I remember my math classes, I passed with awesome grades - after failing the placement tests - but couldn’t solve a single problem is presented it today. So, my sister is all concerned about me teach Alex one of those hard math classes and at the same time recognize how useless those math classes are. Now, I must acknowledge that Chris uses those math skills every day at work - they’re related to what he wants to do. If Alex wants to pursue something that needs those skills, then it makes sense to study them, but if she doesn’t, there is no point.

So, school is starting up — though were holding off until September 1 to begin deschooling (ha, were going to start up stopping off) and I can’t wait.

[posted via BlogThis on flickr]