Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Talk-schooling

If I had to put a label on our "brand" of homeschooling, I think talk-schooling would be it. {Notice that homeschooling is one word, but talk-schooling is hyphenated, this is because homeschooling is a real word, and it really annoys me when it isn't written as such, ten years ago I felt the same way about breastfeeding.} Ever since the days of toddler Jonathan having an affinity for pulling other kids' hair (specifically his cousin Sarah's), I have tried to educate my kids by talking. "Ok we are going to a playgroup where there will be other kids, we aren't going to hurt them, we are going to play nice and use words, it's not ok to pull hair, blah, blah, blah..." It seemed like this form of education worked since by the time we moved to Florida when he was 3, I was hearing things like, "You're so lucky, he's such an easy child," this led me to believe that the talking worked, so we kept at it. I'm the kind of person who thinks I'm keeping a secret (or lying) if I don't tell my kids (or anyone) any major news that I have heard. I've always felt this way, therefore we have always told our kids (on their level) about whatever major event was going on whether it was the terror attacks of Sept 11 or the death of a loved one. That's just the way we've always been. I feel like with homeschooling high school over the last few years, sometimes the "work" has gotten in the way of the talking. This has bothered me. I do believe that the work needs to get done, but I'm tired of saying that we have to stop a really good discussion so my big kids can conjugate Spanish verbs or solve for x. This is why we homeschool in the first place. Everyday we are one step closer to having grown kids. Everyday this makes me sad. I'm going to vow to allow and even encourage the discussions from here on out because that is where the real learning and evaluating take place anyway. Today for example before lunch we had good discussions about the Hunger Games (and all stories about good versus evil) and how much we can't stand when people criticize something that they know nothing about, and about the differences between women getting the right to vote (in 1920) and the later women's rights movements. We touched on birth control issues, as well as episodes of The Brady Bunch, The Wonder Years, and Family Ties. We discussed how there are no TV shows that we can think of set between Little House on the Prairie times and Leave it to Beaver times. We talked about how we know some people who are raising their daughters specifically to be homemakers and others who we know who are specifically raising their daughters only to be career women (in case you didn't know, like most issues we are firmly in the middle on this one).

Even with all of the talking, the kids did manage to get some 'real' schoolwork done today including this...

5 comments:

ann marie said...

Big talkers over here as well. Sometimes I feel exhausted by the talking, but I know it is working because the kids remain close to me and Greg at times when they could be pulling away and shutting down and not telling us anything. Sometimes I feel like I over share with them and it may come back to bite me - I don't know, we'll have to wait and see how that plays out. Anyway, you have great kids, so whatever you are doing, it works :)

Tiffany said...

I agree with AnnMarie...you do have great kids so keep doing what you're doing. I am in the middle about talking about everything but I want to be better about having those discussions. I tend to tell my kids a lot and talk to them a lot but not as much as I think I should.

Melissa said...

Great post! I want to talk with my kids more....and not let "school" get in the way....trying to figure out how to do that.

By evening though, I want the talking to cease. tired.

Terri said...

Yup, I love the term talkschooling! LOVE it!

Jackie said...

I am glad you brought this up. I think I have had a problem in this area in the past especially.

My daughter likes to talk and tell me all kinds of things she is interested in while we are schooling. I have always tried to steer her back to our specific schoolwork.

In the last year or two we have progressed more toward what I call semi-unschooling. I have had to learn to rethink our path. She seems to do much better with unschooling, but I still had a problem with the talking even though I know it can and does result in valuable lessons. I think I just needed someone to say it's O.K. for us to have talk-school!

I think I will make it "talkschooling" since we both know it's a real word. :)

Joyfully,
Jackie,
A homeschool Mom who enjoys blogging. Our favorite eighth grade curriculum.