Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Homeschooling at it's Best!!

On Sunday, Johnny and I spent a few hours in the ravine by the creeks. We built little rock houses out of the rocks in the dried up creek bed and talked. Johnny is a deep thinker and goes from one question to the next. Sometimes he forgets that he didn't get an answer for his first question before he asks the next one (which is a good thing when you don't know the answer and don't care to make a fool out of yourself).

We talked about the woods, how it was so pretty and quiet. Johnny kept saying, (in between questions), "It's so nice and quiet."
"I bet it's quiet at the house too," I told him.
"Because you're here." He got one of those 'deep thought' looks on his face and after a couple silent seconds, a smile crossed his face as he yelled:

We talked about the different things in the woods, trees, plants and animals and how good it was for God to give these things to us and what we use them for, and how we should thank Him for them.

We talked about the Bible.. where it came from, how long it's been around, who wrote it. I taught Johnny his first Bible passage: John 11-35: "Jesus wept," for which he confused for "whipped," when I quizzed him on it later. When I corrected him, he asked if Jesus ever "whipped" I said, "actually, yes," and we talked about the story of Jesus driving the people out of the Temple area and how we should be quiet in His church  (which he is good at) .

We talked about family heritage, how Uncles, Aunts, Grandparents and cousins all relate to you. We talked about the future when he will be an Uncle. He wasn't sure if he liked "Uncle John," or "Uncle Johnny," better. He asked how old he'll be in 3 years. I said:
"How old are you now?"
"What's 5 plus 3?"
"Then I'll be 10 in 5 years?" and the math went on...

Here he was, a 5yr. old in the middle of 'summer vacation' on a Sunday, no less, and his mind was completely turned 'on' by talking and thinking instead of being 'shut down' at the very mention of 'school.'

In private revelation, I read that the Blessed Mother used to teach Jesus and his cousins without them even realizing they were being taught and I really believe that's how schooling should be. Johnny absorbed so much more into his mind in our couple hours together then he would have if he spent the whole day at a desk with a book in front of him. Now, granted, he's only 5 but he'll be an open minded thinker just because he learns by observation and asking questions. By living on a homestead and loosely homeschooling, he'll pursue what interests him and really learn it and, in doing so, will 'learn how to learn' and that's all we're trying to teach in homeschooling. From there, the child is set to learn whatever he needs or wants to know in his life (with the exception of the basics that they do have to study). By learning through conversing, we're also building up our own relationship together... building bonds and building memories, which is more valuable than all the knowledge in the world.

(If you would like to read more about how we homeschool naturally, visit my Mom's Discipleship Article at our Home 'n Stead website)

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