Wednesday, February 22, 2012

School night with Grandma every Wednesday night. It's fun, it's a bit crazy, and there's cookies. Yup, squeals of delight accompany the announcement and Big smiles greet me at 6:00 p.m. when our two oldest grand daughters rush in ready to begin.

If only their mom could get them to school with such enthusiasm. But this grandma after homeschooling our own children for fifteen years has a few tricks up her sleeve and it helps she's a bit off the wall crazy. 

Our night tonight began with a funny story about Mr. Sleeby who is always doing funny things. In tonight's tale he put his shirt on over his coat and his socks on over his shoes. The story requires attention to detail and the kid's have to listen carefully to figure out whats not right in the story.

The oldest grand child had a story about piglets and had to figure out how to assist the children in the story with counting them as they scurried about the pen.

 Then it  was addition and subtraction for the oldest with a number line to help. Last week it was with dice and next week we'll add popcycle sticks too. I'm searching for the best way for her to understand simple math. With numerous ways shown how to do something, you equip a child with knowledge that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Also you'll learn how they understand best.
Then we worked on phonics, serious phonics. The kind that teaches all the ways the long sound of a is made and how it is spelled and where it is most likely to be within a word if it has that spelling.

Giggles and laughter accompanied our problem solving with a pretend sink full of water that needs drained. With objects on the table I ask, "Would we use a teaspoon? Why not? Would we use strainer? Why not?" And we continue on with the kids deciding just what kind of object would work and why.

While the oldest is doing her work, her younger sister is in the living room setting up flash cards in alphabetical order.

You may be wondering why I started Wednesdays with Grandama. Well, there is some serious gaps in these girl's education and they are having trouble moving on in school because of it.
With the belief that your kids are your responsibility and that includes your grandkids. I believe that what they learn or don't learn is therefore also your responsibility. It doesn't matter if you have chosen others to assist you in educating them, you are the one that is responsible for the results. You are their parent or grand parent. 

I've heard too many parents blame the schools for their children not learning to read well or do math. The lack of an education suited to the learning of our children is the reason why I took my kids out of school years ago. If I just helping them after school would have done it, that is what I'd of done.

But I had children who's IQ's ranked then in the gifted class but had a few undiagnosed learning disabilities and were struggling at the bottom of the class. The oldest was in the middle of the third grade and never did like school. She struggled emotionally and educationally. Knowing how I struggled in school and how I did not receive a good grounding in the basics, I took over and began tutoring our children. Soon I had the blessing of the teachers for I was getting lists of what the kids were going to learn volunteered by the teachers because they were soaring under my tutuliage and drowning in theirs.

I see things haven't changed. Our grandkids have the same large gaps in learning that our children had so out has come the old school books. The ones that were old when our kids were young and had been found to produce phenomenol results in children, even those whose first language was not English. The ones that had gone out of style in the push to get schools to buy the new, the supposedly improved. The ones who's literature lessons were filled with tales of Benjamin Franklin and Helen Keller. The ones that when covering stories from different countries had Noah's Ark as one of the stories.

I still say, if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

So with the tried and true and the weight of our grand children's lack of an addequate education weighing on my mind, I instigated Wednesdays with Grandma and I intend on continuing it throughout the summer. The girls love it. I'm having fun too. Mud pots using applesauce is definitely in our near future when I start introducing science.  

Yup, you've probably figured out by now that I love learning and I believe it is contagious. It isn't about teaching everything. It's about teaching children how to find their own answers to their questions. It's about instilling a thirst for knowledge and exploration. 

It's about love.

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