Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Year ~ A New Quarter

Everyone has their own style of blogging. I like to keep mine fairly focused on fiber and folk art which are my two passions. Yet, like most women, I wear multiple hats. Most often it's a wide brimmed mom/wife hat. Sometimes, it's a lovely, woolen chapeau. More recently, it's an educator's cap.

Over the past few days, I've been reading my favorite blogs. Many of them have featured year end retrospectives or resolutions for 2011. Meanwhile, my blog has been at a standstill. Where have I been? I've been in the middle of this picture, surrounded by teaching materials and planning the third quarter of school for my fifth grader.

Yes, for me the beginning of the new year meant it was time to prepare for a new quarter of teaching my son. It was two years ago that our student/teacher relationship began. Happily, people tend to be more supportive of the choice to homeschool these days. I rarely even get asked why, but if your curious, it's mostly because the way he learns deviates from what is considered the standard or the "norm" in public school. Of course this standard has become so narrow, it's not hard to become an anomaly. What it really boils down to, is that he is a highly artistic, visual learner who processes information best in a one-on-one, creative environment. That's what he needs, so that's what I give him.

I'm not sure what inspired me to share this personal tidbit with you today. I guess it's mostly because teaching has become a big part of my life and more specifically, my chief focus for the past week. I like sharing a bit of myself from time to time, even if it makes me feel a little vulnerable. It's my way of reaching out and connecting with other moms, bloggers, teachers, dyers, crocheters, spinners, womankind, humankind. There is comfort to be found in these connections. For that, I am very grateful!

A belated Happy New Year to you all!


krex said...

I'm glad your son has a mom who understands that how one learns is as important as what one learns . Many kids with ADHD and Aspergers find home school the best way to open, (rather then suppress), their true potential .I often wonder what I could have achieved in an environment that encouraged my creativity and curiosity over social games and conformity .

It wasn't until college that I had instructors who admitted that the current educational system is more about teaching someone to be a "widget" that fits in the corporate machine then an explorer , questioner and inventor .

Good luck to you both .

WonderWhyGal said...

Thank you for sharing. I requested a Child Study for my Sister Bear who is in the 4th Grade. After months of frustration and her essentially failing the 4th Grade I wanted to know why my child is being left behind. What can I do as a parent to help her. Well, I sat in a conference room with educators of all types who hadn't thought to ask that same question of themselves or me. They supposedly are making changes at the school. She doesn't test the same as other children and she tends to absorb knowledge on an audio level but struggles to put it on paper. Ok, then how can I help?

My husband and I have considered teaching her ourselves. She gets the materials when we are at home but magically loses it once she gets to school. Why? Dialogue is finally taking place between the school and me so maybe they can help me figure this out.

I applaud you for seeing that your son needed more and you trying to give it to him.

Jenn said...

Thanks so much for your comments. It's such an emotional topic for me that I teared reading your words. My heart breaks for the wonderful and capable children whose needs are not being met.

I was a kid who struggled to learn in a traditional environment and it wasn't until I was sitting in a developmental psych class that I realized it wasn't all my fault.

I've also done some time at the conference table. I guess we all have to figure out what is best for our children and for our families, but I wish I had started homeschooling even earlier. I could have saved my son and myself a lot of frustration.

I think that if schools ever figure out what they are doing wrong and even start to honestly teach to the individual learning styles, it will be too late for my kids. I didn't feel like I had any other good options but to take on the role of teacher myself.

As a final note, homeschool has been going great. He's happier and learning at grade level or higher. It takes a lot out of me some days, but it's worth it!