Monday, February 4, 2013

The longer we educate our children at home, the more comfortable I become evaluating what is working and not working in this big goal we have - to educate our children. Each September begins with new goals, plans, and books. Each January and February brings reflection, redefining of goals, and making changes accordingly.

I can have the most amazing plans and my children can have many goals and ideas but some don't work, some don't work as well as they should, some work as expected, and others exceed our wildest imaginings.

For those of you wanting to know, here is an example of what I mean:

Elnora has been interested in insects since she was a very young tot. We bought her a guide book to North American bus when she could read a little.

Best science resource purchased
 At first she perused the glossy photographs and would compare any bugs she found with the photo in the book. Then as her reading skills improved, she began reading all the information in the book. As a result we have a well-thumbed guide book and a daughter who has us and others coming to her with different bugs needing to be identified. This book was not part of any school curriculum but met an educational desire of one of our children. As you can imagine, this is one resource Mr. Beaver and I have no regrets buying! This guide book has exceeded our wildest imaginings for our daughter's science.

Since Elnora is also interested in the rainforest, and in animal classification, she thought learning Latin would be very helpful. So we purchased the Latin Road to English Grammar for her to try this year. Big mistake for all these reasons:

- It requires significant parental involvement. I am trying to teach two boys to read and I have a toddler. One of my boys has lots of medical appointments. Sorry, my name is not Supermom so early on in the school year, I told poor Elnora if she wanted to do this Latin, she would need to see how much she could manage on her own. Ahem! There's a reason this program requires significant parental involvement so it has been reclining on the shelf for a while.

- This Latin requires more than a cursory knowledge of Grammar which is something we have not pursued too strenuously yet.

- The program focuses on classical Latin but my daughter wants to know Latin as a language to classify bugs.

Needless to say, this whole program has come under my "January magnifying glass". The end result is that Latin will remain on the shelf until further notice. Elnora is much more interested in learning Portuguese as the Amazon is in Brazil and they speak Portuguese in Brazil. If she wants to go to the rainforest there to study bugs, she needs Portuguese more than Latin. I mean, you gotta be able to communicate with the locals, no?!

On that note, any cheap resources out there to study Portuguese?

Do any of you home school moms out there pull out your big lens at this time of the year?

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