kate5kiwis: Beam me up, Scottie...


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Beam me up, Scottie...

Ok, so we're doing a spot of handwriting practice just now (yeah, just checked my temperature lol) and J11, brain-ever-whirring, says:
J11: Mum, do you know that very soon, people won't have to do handwriting because you'll be able to hold something and just move your finger and it'll write for you.
moi: uh-huh?
J11: Yeah, or you'll be able to communicate straight from your brain to someone else's.
moi: *quizzical glance*
J11: (on a roll) You'll just have to tune a radio to the same frequency as your brain waves and then you'll THINK something and the radio waves will communicate it...
moi: *brain boggle* wow...

on the topic of handwriting and home education, it's my long-held-personal opinion that kids will *get it* when they're ready: like walking and talking, reading and writing will follow in each child's right time. but sometimes i get the urge to TEACH THEM STUFF. i know in my heart that our home is not the classroom, and (*carefully tries not to step on people's toes*) much of classroom *teaching* time is actually classroom management. you know: can everyone see mrs mcguzzlefutchit's book? tommy, please move away from jimmy.... eyes this way... please keep your feet still... can everyone still see my book??? etc

it's just that i'm a *trained teacher* (sounds a little bit too much like "trained monkey") so there's a constant internal struggle with the Traditional Classroom Teaching Model, and What Feels Right Here In Our Home With These Children. i do believe that most learning happens by osmosis, the children following their noses and desires, directing their own learning... being out in the big wide spaces... rather than me saying: let's learn about cumulonimbus clouds or whatever this week. conversely, i do think that learning Times Tables is very helpful.

i believe this at the under-thirteen-years level. yeah, i'm a paradox, and our older two kiddos have happily transitioned to The Classroom at age thirteen. maybe the rest of the lads will too, maybe they won't...

i guess i feel confident that education is not something we DO to a child. they're born wired to learn, and it's my job to encourage them in that, providing wonderful learning experiences along the way. and giving them space to t-h-i-n-k and dream about their next invention, while doing something as boring as handwriting practice.

phew, glad i got that out of my system.


Blogger Da Setiuz Mama said...

I SO get the whole 'trained-teacher' struggle!! My kids are still little, but I find myself trying to do things in a classroom teacher kinda way....I so need to untrain myself from that but something makes me think that might take a bit...!!

ps.... Good to see you found some "FUN" in Hamilton! The Sahara tent is good value esp the atmosphere. I think we went there with Gary G just before JK was born.....where did time go?

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Babe,
Great comment on the blog. I certainly feel that I am in the business of training the monkeys at times.
Keep up the inspirational work with our kids.
One day I will do a Mystery Monday with you all as well.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Liesl said...

I'm so glad you got that out of your system, too :) I completely agree with your philosophy, which makes me a bit of a black sheep in these parts where the local nursery has a plaque with a list of "alums" who went on to Ivy League universities!

Your kiddos have the best teacher ever :)

2:12 PM  
Blogger Rach said...

I love it when we agree 100%!!!!!!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Mostlymummy said...

Thanks for the food for thought babe. I *so* wish I had your faith in yourself and your kids. Clearly what you're doing works, with 5 smart, happy and amazing kids!
Enjoy your journey, I feel grateful to have crossed your path, however briefly. Hay xxxx

3:20 PM  
Blogger Sharonnz said...

Nicely put. I often struggle with the tension between learning with my kids at home and "teaching" them stuff too. Sometimes it comes from them though...M7 asked to "do spelling lists" so I respected that and got a wee booklet and off we went (in our very relaxed fashion, lol).

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well . . . the proof of the puding is in the eating.
The entrée was fine, the mains look good, but we have still to see the desert !

But then, that is what parenthood is all about. teach them well, by whatever method.

7:56 PM  
Blogger BeachMama said...

I think it is wonderful that you are able to teach your kids at home. You seem to keep it exciting, they all seem to love it and like you said, two have already transitioned well at age thirteen. I, for one, am sure the others will too.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear anonymous
You can obviously read and write, but what about the spelling lists?

3:24 PM  
Blogger kate5kiwis said...

dear anonymouses/anonymii
love the on-screen tennis match...

5:50 PM  
Blogger Marie N. said...

You are an inspiration. My daughter learns so much from books in her free reading and my son learns so much from videos (astronomy and geography videos are his favorites). When we start out school year they will have to do things they don't want to do (math for her, handwriting for him) but their free reading and watching continues too.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

Maybe it depends on the kids? My eldest wants to be a veterinarian and will soak up anything you give her, but all my youngest cares about is dancing and television; she wants to be a ballet teacher. I'm going to have her ballet teacher explain to her that yes, ballet teachers do need to be able to read, because she doesn't even want to do that! I'm hoping she'll *want to* sometime in the future, but we need to keep at the basics until then.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you've got to say, Katie :). The homeschooling movement is really picking up momentum and your children are so lucky that you are taking the time to educate them in a way that meets their needs and not the needs of some government official. Plus, you are a trained teacher, which is a huge bonus, because it gives you insight into that dorky government official and, I think, ensures success for your kids.

You're so lucky with all your gorgeous kiddos, your handsome hubby, and your wonderful extended family. I count myself lucky to be considered your friend.

Friendship for example, is a real gift. It's given with no expectations and no gratitude is needed, not between real friends. (TV Quote)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The friendship quote is from Boy Meets World (TV Show). Mr. Feeney (the principal) said it. :)

6:09 AM  
Blogger kate5kiwis said...

thanks awfully everyone, it's actually really nice to know that i'm not just talking to myself lol.
i'm totally with you babe, and i think the same as you, i don't believe that education happens in a void, great idea to get the ballet teacher on side.

also, (hope this doesn't sound like "advice" cos i'm not presuming to give any lol) i'd be on the lookout for a million Ballet Books to try to engage Youngest Daughter on her interest level. books that i'd read *to* her and books that she might be able to recognise a few words in too... that's what i mean about *child led*... X

5:56 PM  

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