The major supplies have now arrived, so it appears that our homeschooling adventure may be about to begin. I’ve debated whether it might be wiser to wait until fall to start or whether given the particulars of my kid it would be better to start now and be prepared to take time off when he wants to.
I’ve pretty much settled on starting now-ish and let our rhythm and schedule be dictated by his interests and his willingness to try things. We’re working with the materials from Oak Meadow. What we like about it is that it fits with our ideas about slow education. And I know it seems strange that I’m talking about slow education while simultaneously starting my not quite four year old on educational materials, but the thing is he dictates what he does and how much he does. He’s curious and he wants to know what things are, how they work, and he’s fascinated by letters and stories. He loves to do craft projects and to imitate and follow us around.
Today, we watched the popcorn popper (an air popper) pop popcorn. He’d never seen it before, so I set it up, we poured the popcorn in and afterward, we ate the popcorn. He had a blast. I don’t know what, exactly, he learned from that experience, but he did learn that there are ways to do things and that he can do them with some supervision. Of course, I’m not going to think about the fact that my air popper will likely die eventually. We’ve had this one for over fifteen years, so it’s likely to become the deceased popcorn popper someday.
I’m thinking it can’t hurt to start him down the path if that’s what he wants, so that’s what we’re going to do. We just finished reading Carl Honore’s In Praise of Slowness. I think P and I are feeling more confident about our choice to pursue a Waldorf/Steiner type education for our kids than we did before. We both think that this is what is best for them and that they will get the most out of their early years by learning through doing more than filling out worksheets and completing prescribed projects.
Today, aside from the popcorn, Ben and I took Katie on her first nature walk. We took a picture of Ben’s shadow and discovered that Mr. Mark (our neighbor) has oranges in his tree. Ben is considering asking Mr. Mark if he can pick one, but he hasn’t worked up the nerve yet. We also drew chalk pictures on the sidewalk — including a path for Daddy to follow from his “recycling truck” to the house and left a dictated note for Daddy on the sidewalk (Ben told me what to write and I wrote it down).
We also cleared up some sticks in the yard to help daddy with the yard work. Ben was very proud of himself while Katie sat in her stroller in the shade and watch the proceedings. It worked for everyone, I think.
We had a fun day and I’m pleased with the way it went. Now, all my supplies are here to get started, so I have to decide to start :).