When I was pregnant with my son I felt as though there was an almost innate need for him to be home schooled. I had forgotten about it after I went through a very stressful birth with him. When he was 18 months and in Early Intervention for speech I revisited the idea. When I couldn't find a curriculum or school system I agreed with in public, charter or Catholic school I ended up walking through this door of infinite possibilities — home schooling! Many people started to emerge and extend their hand towards us, offering trips to conventions, curriculum, catalogs, websites and help.
This is Offbeat Families's archive of education posts.
We are mere weeks away from our little one returning to school. Back-to-school supply ads and lists are dominating our dining table. Conversation about which backpack to use for school, which past classmates will be in this year's class and how we prioritize homework and soccer are taking place daily. For our family, back to school also means that our family has another opportunity to come out, be seen and expand our circle of friends. Our little man is a remarkable soon-to-be second grader. He's curious and friendly. He's independent and playful. And he's proud to his two mamas.
How do you explain the concept of colours to a small child who had never seen anything but black? When we got told that there was to be a blind child at our kindergarten class, we got sent to a course in how to best stimulate such a child. The number one thing we learned was to play with her other senses, which is often more developed than in people with normal eye sight.
Just as caretakers have been surreptitiously sneaking veggies into kids' favorite foods for eons, I have been hiding literacy skills in games and activities that center around JK Rowling's brilliant, alluring universe. And it's working. I might even say… it's just like magic.
My wife is an early childhood and special educator. She works with young students, most of whom are the same age or younger than our youngest daughter. One of those students, one whom she's championed, advocated for, and supported for almost two years, passed away. The news, and the resulting heartache, are things she never could have prepared for, steeled herself to. The loss of this student has hit her profoundly.
Logan LaPlante is 13 years old and he goes to what he calls “hackschool.” Its really not a school at all in the traditional sense. As Logan says, “Hackschooling is a mindset, not a system.” In this amazing TEDx talk, Logan sets forth a bold vision for education — one he lives everyday.
Tonight I began a grade book for each child and shared it with only that individual. All of the assignments come to my email, which comes to my phone (which has a Google Drive app) so I can grade anywhere: in the car, in bed, in line at the grocery store or during my husband’s boring Alien conspiracy shows.
I watched my neighbors connect. It's something I don't think we get the chance to do that often anymore. During this age of social media, many of us spend more time updating statuses or tweeting than we do sitting down and having a conversation. Even better, a conversation over a slice of pie. There is something inherently neighborly and folksy about ruminating over pie.