Friday, October 31, 2014

Homeschooling the youngest, thoughts.

I've gotten my whining out for a bit and I am ready to talk about homeschooling today.  My son, who is 16, has been homeschooled since the first grade.  He really only faintly remembers going to school.  We started out with unit studies.  I was teaching a first grader, a third grader and a sixth grader.  We'd do our unit study together (first KONOS, then Christian Cottage in the following years) and then my oldest son would go to his room, theoretically to work on his math, reading, etc. and the younger 2 kids and I would work on their math together, then my girl would go actually work on whatever she was assigned and the youngest and I would work on his spelling and writing.  The spelling and writing part, for him, has never gone well.  He's dysgraphic and probably dyslexic as well.  I read everything I could on right brained learners, late bloomers, dyslexia, dysgraphia and have tried several approaches.  He's learned to read without really learning to spell very well and writing anything by hand is still a horrible chore for him, but sometimes he does it, when he wants to.  He reads constantly.  He wants to learn things constantly.  As our school has evolved, we now do the minimum on basic subjects and then let him teach himself whatever else he wants.  He unschools himself on subjects that I don't understand, like physics and quantum mechanics.  Yesterday he was very interested in how hot something can get and did a lot of research, on his own, watching videos on V Sauce  and showing them to his sister (who has graduated but will never stop wanting to learn).  He does things like this all the time, getting the atlas and spending a whole day reading it, thinking of a question in the morning and then spending a week or more educating himself about it.   We recently cleaned out mom's house (as I have been whining about) and now he's got a whole set of encyclopedias from the 1970s in his room.  I can't help it, I think that looking things up in a book is more satisfying in some way than looking things up on Google, although he does plenty of that too.  We tease him that he is like the robot in Short Circuit, requiring "input?"

I am so glad, especially for his sake, that we have homeschooled.  I think the fact that writing is so difficult for him would have crushed his spirit in the public schools.

And also, by the way, Happy Halloween!

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