Monday, March 21, 2011

Adventures in Lake Schooling (children's education, parenting)

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle

MY RECOMMENDATION: YES, with Reservations

AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Adventures in Lakeschooling, by LakeMom


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Adventures in Lakeschooling Blog chronicles our family's journey of eclectic, passion-centered homeschooling from our perch on a lake. We are also a family formed through both adoption (from Haiti) and birth. There are 5 of us, 2 adults and 3 little mookies. I call them Rhubarb (b. '00), Eggplant (b. '01), and Blueberry (b. '04). I am LakeMom. I knit. I write. I homeschool with my kids.

Unfortunately, this is one of those blogs where you get a READ MORE link to take you to the web to read the rest of the article.

MY REVIEW: Every parent - well, every good parent! - wants the best education for their child, and there's long been a debate on whether public school, private school or home schooling is best.

I'll let you parents make up your own minds, but thought I'd share this home-schooling blog so, if you have been thinking about home schooling, you can see how much hard work it is for the parent - as well as for the kids, but how rewarding it is, also.

It's not on the Kindle, but check it out on the web.

Recent post:
Outschooling: How I Am Outsourcing Our Homeschooling
It's a funny thing when my child opens a game he has never played in my house (Backgammon) and starts playing it. "How do you know how to play that?" I ask innocently.

"'F' taught me," he says. "F" is our upstairs neighbor, the German father of the two small children with whom my kids like to play. Apparently, while my girls play with his girls, he plays Backgammon with Eggplant.

Like our constant stream of spontaneous learning experiences, this sort of thing happens a lot lately (I have listed some of them below as examples). My kids, it seems, have found a whole bunch of mentors.

These are all situations that have developed organically, over time, and have been completely free. All of the mentors are neighbors, friends, friends of friends, or professionals we have patronized. All of the mentor-student parts of our relationships began with a simple question, typically one of the kids inquiring about the mentor's expertise.

I remember a time when all my kids were younger and I would attend homeschooling conferences or homeschooling parent meetings and leave feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. Parents would tell stories of their own children's mentors and I wondered how I would ever have the time to find mentors for my children. I was sure I would have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to pay for experts to teach the areas where the kids held passions (the areas where HotNerd or I lacked experience). I was also sure that those sorts of adult-child relationships just didn't exist anymore.

The problem was that I was expecting those relationships to form when the children were still so young.

Basically, small children aren't at a point yet where they want that. Most of their passions can be satiated within the confines of their family and friends. My dear friend "J's" mom was teaching her daughters to quilt before they could ride a tricycle. This grew naturally out of their desire to spend time with Granma. It doesn't matter what Granma (or Dad or Uncle Joe) loves to do, smaller children will typically join in when given the chance.

Parents of young children should give the process time, allow the kids to grow into their own passions, and trust that it will happen when the time is right.

In our home, mentors started popping up around 9 for Rhubarb, 7 for Eggplant, and 6 for Blueberry. The ages mean nothing except that this was when THEY were ready to ask the questions that led to the answers that forged a new path in their relationships. When THEY (not me) REALLY wanted it, it happened (in shy Blueberry's case, she REALLY REALLY had to want it to leave her comfort zone and ask the questions).

And it can happen for your kids too. Just don't push it. Let it happen organically. Give it time.

Let the list below encourage you. I was a mom who worried it would never happen -- until it did.

Mentoring relationships my kids have formed (I am only listing situations that are free, as the teachers of the classes they take fit into a slightly different category):

"K" taught Eggplant to play tennis.
"C" gave Eggplant beginning marimba lessons.
Captain "S", a pilot, taught Eggplant, Rhubarb, and a friend the rudimentary principles of aerodynamics during a semester long course he taught in our home.
"G", our neighbor, taught Rhubarb all about Judaism.
"L", a college student friend, taught Rhubarb Irish fiddle.
"W" provided a loom for Rhubarb and is searching for weaving books for her and helping to hook us up with teachers.
"S" created the apprentice program where Rhubarb helps teach movement classes to toddlers and pre-schoolers.
The same "S" will teach Blueberry CPR.
"Dr. M", "Dr. N", and "Dr. D" freely and happily let Blueberry listen to my heart, check my ears, check her own temperature, etc.

--Outschooling: How I Am Outsourcing Our Homeschool...
--Art Place in a Small Space
--The Attack of the Ikea
--A "Real" Problem
--Official Facebook Page
--First Day of Spring
--City Living and the Constant Opportunities
--Code Red Vegan Mole Peanut Brittle
--Growing into the Next Phase of Parenting
--Sunday Funday 5: Blueberry's Punk Rock Era
--Blogurday 5: Motherhood and More
--A Timeline in a Small Space to Record The Bigness ...
--Reviewing "The Happiness Project" and Feeling Happ...
--Rhubarb Spoke and the Universe Listened
--How the Key Snafu Saved the Day
--Spontaneous Saturday, Trip to the National Museum ...
--Sunday Funday 4: In Honor of Teachers
--Blogurday 4: City Kids Homeschooling
--Huck Finn and the "N" Word
--The Bad and the Ugly
--A Day in the Life (And I Purposely Chose a Great O...
--Beauty and the Sleep-deprived

Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Check out the following blogs:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
Rush Limbaugh Report

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