Hey everyone! Sorry I have not been on in a while – I see Mama Rose has not filled you in on why I mysteriously disappeared, so allow me to clear the air. I recently went on a homeschooling vision quest where I reconnected with my inner child, and through an intensive re-developmental process that involved an obscene amount of baby food and crying for my mommy, I have subsequently had my eyes opened to the secrets of optimized developmental teaching. It was a wild ride, but I am happy to announce I am valiantly returning with all, yes, count them, ALL of the answers to the fool proof way to home school/teach your kids.
Ok, the truth is I went backpacking in the Smokey Mountains for three days and then returned to prepare, pack, and depart for our trip to Canada, BUT, Mama Rose and I have definitely had some fantastic realizations about how to teach our kids.
I want to echo my thoughts on Mama Rose’s post regarding the revelation of how to teach reading skills to Ladybug Girl. I think that one of the biggest fears for parents who want to teach their kids these skills is the fear of doing it wrong. Many times when we are faced with the overwhelming task of teaching our kids the fundamentals of reading, for example, we often go and over-think the entire process.
Kids are naturally curious and have a hunger to understand how things work. As the parent/teacher, we desire to maximize this trait by breaking down, over defining, over explaining, and generally end up making the entire process as boring as humanly possible. Then your child, head spinning, says to themselves, “What the heck is Daddy talking about? These letters can’t make up their mind on what they want to sound like. I just wanted to know more about ‘One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.’”
The fundamentals of what my Aunt Kathy teaches is to understand how a story works, understand how a story sounds, and more importantly understand how fun a story can be. We get so wrapped up in the details that we miss the forest for the trees, and often times give up, because the beauty of the story has been phonetically stripped from the page.
My way to combat this is pretty simply. Live. Appreciate the story, celebrate the beauty, enjoy the process, ask questions! I think that it has become fairly epidemic in our culture to strip down the learning process into tiny confusing details we end up trying to memorize, all in the name of having a better understanding. The result is we over-complicate a process that I am confident will be learned/discovered through natural curiosity and creativity, something that I am sad to report, seems to be in short supply.
So in closing, throw away your flash cards, grab a book, and read. Talk about how the words relate to the pictures, how the story flows, and how beautiful the story is. You might find that the appreciation for the story teaches us more then we could ever imagine.