Wednesday, March 5, 2008

On school.

One thing home visits seem to do for us is help us refocus. We finish things up so we can show of our work & Ditz almost always practises a piece on her flute so she can tootle effectively. We had a really (really, really) bad experience with the state Distance Ed., program. So many people were pulling their kids out of the state schools, a program that was initially started to meet the needs of kids on the big properties out west ended up with nearly all its students from the inner Brisbane suburbs when we pulled out & moved under a Christian umbrella. Naturally that created problems & we couldn't work the program as individually as we wanted to. Now we can & Ditz has really flourished with the more individual approach & being able to focus more on her music. I know some of the problems we have with her rushing her work just to get it done are left overs from having to return something every fortnight to DE, by which time we were so fed up & bored with it we both couldn't wait to be rid of it. Some days I think my attention span is no better than my daughter's & I can't abide being bored.

Anyway, I have been poking & tweaking & chatting on~line ever since to get the sort of program for Ditz that I think will work for both of us ~ me as teacher, her as student. It has taken a bit of time. I got badly burnt by DE & while not lacking in confidence was loath to rock any more boats so went with the LLATL recommended by the school even though I knew in my gut it was a bad fit for us ~ & so it was. Ditched it for Sonlight which works surprisingly well despite being a very academic program ~ well, the program as written is quite academic; I've made quite a few changes. lol. We do peculiar things to the history ~ but I adore history & teach it from my love of people & culture rather from timelines & politics ~ both of which tend to bore me (there's that word again.) I figure if you understand culture you get the political picture by default. Math, well we have a program that works for us but no~one round here gets too excited about math though we can all manage what needs to be done in a day to day sense.

So I was thrilled (no getting round it ~ I was thrilled) when Ditz finished up Star of Light (sorry Mrs D, Ditz never did get to like that book) & immediately reached for Rascal as her new reader. My little heart went pit~a~pat. Moved on, all on her own, to her math. Didn't get much done. Both of us are struggling to make sense of the math but she is starting to organize herself. This is huge for us. Ditz has always wanted me to organize her & hold her hand through all her work so any show of independence is HUGE! I mean, isn't the goal to have a self~motivated learner? Needed me for bible & her grammar but overall we got a lot of school done & I got my housework done as well.

Teaching is exhausting so I am always intrigued by how others do it & watching Alison teach music theory is an education all on it's own. Crotchets & dotted minums are now forever etched in my mind because the crotchet is mummy Alsion & the dot is her baby. Bubs gets in for half price. Ditz's face was priceless. She thought I was weird but I've got nothing on Alison! I'm learning though. Watch out Ditz! I have never seen such a kinesthetic teacher & boy, oh boy, does she manage to reach every child in the room! Twelve or so kiddies & every single one of them will have a different learning style but all of them are catching on pretty fast. It is a joy to watch.


Mrs. Darling said...

I love kinesthetic style learning!

Oh Im so bummed you dont like Star of Light! I read it to my 7th grade class one year and the girls were in tears almost every day!

And hey, I can agree with you on boredom! Its not my cup of tea either.

Ganeida said...

I like Star of Light. And though I get very tired & occassionaly discouraged I prefer to be busy & stretched than aimless & with time on my hands.

MamaOlive said...

I hope you (she) enjoy Rascal. I liked it enough to buy it for Taryn at our last library sale. She said it was good, but she "almost had to cry."

Good for Ditz getting self motivated! That must be a good feeling.

molytail said...

We ordered the purple LLATL book back in the summer, after it was "highly recommended" by the lady running the business I'd bought most things through... I wasn't sure about it initially and I should have gone with my instincts and not bothered because shortly after we got it and had a really good look through it, it went back. ;-)

Self motivation & independent work - awesome! I have the same kind of young lady here who wants her hand held through all of her work, so I can understand your excitement at the change there!

Ganeida said...

Moly, I am wondering if it was the curriculum that intimidated Ditz so that she wouldn't even try on her own. Even though all her work is now much, much harder she seems to feel she has a better grip on it. LLATL is so not a good fit for us yet people rave about it. Everyone I know recommended it & we just hated it! I have a Tan going cheap.~:)

Olive, Ditz is really liking Rascal. That's what I like about living books. Don't like one? Move on; there'll be another good book that covers the topic that they might like better.