Saturday, July 01, 2006

How Do You Like Teaching?

I was asked that by some parents I met on the beach while on vacation. Their daughter will be attending a private school for kindergarten for which she had to pass some test. Poor thing is going to their fourth-choice school, she failed the group interview at another one because she didn't talk. She's 5 and her lack of desire to speak in a group situation with strangers dings her from the private school. Well, I suppose some lessons are best learned early. Exactly what that lesson is, I will leave to the reader to determine.

As a homeschooler, how do I like teaching? I don't. Not that I don't like teaching, I don't teach, at least not the way I remember my teachers teaching. If there's an analogy, but I can't find it. I sort of exist around my children, watching. They constantly amaze me with their learning, especially the oldest. She has figured out that when she wants to spell a word, she simply has to recall where she read it, find the book and the word, and viola, she can copy the word. I didn't teach her that. Or did I? I think I mentioned that process a year or so ago, so either she remembered or figured it out on her own.

Suzanne came and told me that 16 plus 16 equals 32. I asked her how she knew that and she told me she figured it out on her toy abacus. Oh good, because I can't figure out how to work that thing despite several internet searches. Its probably better I didn't find any usage tips, I might have tried to teach her to use it.

She has also figured out that if she wants to use her Learning Wrap Up of states and capitals that she needs to get her U.S. map placemat to find out the capitals of the various states. Thats learning without teaching. Well, maybe I suggested that to her a few months ago as well.

So maybe I am teaching, I really never noticed. She is definitely learning, though, I notice that all the time.

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