Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Do They Learn?

I was about halfway through our curriculum today, and I was asking questions about the material we'd just read, and realized I was frustrated. I was starting to wonder if the girls listened at all when I read things, or we learned together.

I started thinking about how I know that they're learning. Here's the thing. When you see homeschoolers on TV, they're portrayed one of two ways. Either they're reclusive, religious nutjobs, or they're children are brilliant. I mean the kids are 6 years old and reciting the constitution, giving the weight of the human brain, and explaining the lifecycle of the sphynx moth. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the sphynx moth is fascinating, really, but honestly my kids couldn't be less interested in them. And I don't know that they'd remember we talked about them an hour after doing so. Even though I know that these portrayals aren't acurate, sometimes I feel like we're behind. In reality homeschooled kids are still just regular kids and I need to remember that.

Of course, I also want to know that they're learning. I mean, that's why I teach them. When I teach my toddlers, it's usually easy to see progress. Colors, numbers, letters, words, they show off pretty regularly. But with young children who are really starting to be given more academic work, it's sometimes really hard to tell if they're getting it. I think at this stage, teaching my girls is like throwing spaghetti at a wall. I keep picking up handfulls and tossing it, and some of it will fall, some of it will stick. Hence the picture at the top of this post. Interestingly, I thought there'd be more spaghetti on the wall pics available on the internet. But this is the only one I found that wasn't an odd form of modern art. Go figure.

Anywho, I've decided that I should view this period as an introduction to learning time. They're learning how to listen, and how to process the information. They're learning to read more than they're reading to learn. It's my job to just keep putting the information in, which by the way, is really educational for me. And at the very least, I'm laying a foundation on which we will build as they get older.

This is also a really good time to help them develop their study habits, spend time together, and enjoy that time we have learning together, learning about the world and each other. This is the time to keep working on the bonds we've been building since birth.

I'm just hoping more information sticks to them than falls on the floor.


  1. I so relate to this post. I wish more homeschoolers were portrayed as normal in the media. I had a fantastic day with my kids today and part of the reason it was so great was because when I listened to Jack read, I realized all the things I have been teaching him were sticking. Thank goodness.

  2. I am all in favor of the plain old messy, creative, sometimes naughty, silly, grumpy, sugar craving, wiggly, hungry again, spilled something, about to bicker, bored, and lovable children who probably have a dirty room over the prodigy child anyday! ~Blessings;-)


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