Monday, July 29, 2013
One of the questions I've been getting most often since I announced we are pulling Paprika out of public school in the Fall and homeschooling her is whether or not we'll also homeschool Ginger (and then Violet!)
The short answer is: Yes, we will most likely homeschool them all IF they want to be homeschooled!
I have no idea what things will look like a year or two from now - let alone five years from now! So, I just can't say that we will homeschool forever - but so far, things are looking like that's what's going to happen.
Before we made this decision, I had enrolled Ginger in preschool for the Fall. It's a great preschool (the same one Paprika attended) and we were very lucky to get a spot! But the more I talked to Ginger about it, the more I realized that she does not want to go...at all. Plus, it's a co-op, so I would have to find someone to babysit Paprika and Violet while I had my weekly work-day. Plus, it would also mean we'd lose almost all the flexibility to our schedule that homeschooling allows us. Homeschooling is a big plus for us, given Mr. M's unconventional work schedule.
Anyhoo- with all that in mind, I've decided to start Ginger (who just turned 4) in homeschooling Kindergarten this Fall. She is MORE than ready to do kindergarten work - so it makes sense. We are all very excited about this (most of all Ginger!)
Teaching Ginger is about the exact opposite of teaching Paprika! Their learning styles and interests are polar opposite!
Ginger loves math and numbers. She can read well, although she'd never tell you that. She loves computer games that involve spatial understanding and complex thinking. She builds amazing worlds in Minecraft and can complete advanced problem solving in Portal.
She knows how to add, subtract, and multiply. I have a cd that I've played a few times in the car about multiplication (Multiplication Mountain by Hap Palmer). I bought it to help Paprika learn her multiplication tables. Anyway - Ginger always protests greatly when I play that cd. ;-)
But then after only playing it about two or three times, we were waiting around in the parking lot of piano lessons...and I noticed I had a bunch of change in the cupholder. So, I offered whoever could answer my multiplication problems first a penny for every one they got right.
Ginger, with a twinkle in her eye, yelled out every single multiplication answer a split second after I asked the question (she was 3 years old at the time). I went through probably 30 questions before Paprika started crying and asked us to stop! I felt horrible about that. (Later I took Paprika aside in private and we played the game just the two of us - so it ended up being fine).
Ginger is very reserved and private. She is incredibly head-strong and has an iron will. Seriously, an IRON WILL. If she doesn't want to do something, you cannot make her do it. No bribe or incentive or punishment will work - she has to decide to do something for herself. And then once she decides, watch out because nothing can stop her! ;-)
On the other side, she is fiercely loyal and tender. She cares about people and animals deeply. She remembers everything. She appears very strong on the outside and will defend herself and others from outsiders, but she is quite sensitive and does not take any criticism well.
It takes awhile to gain her trust, but once you have gained her trust, she will fight to the end of time for you.
I have wanted to start Ginger in piano lessons, swimming, gymnastics...a whole host of things. But bottom line, she will not learn from someone she doesn't trust!
In fact, her learning style is to figure out something on her own and then show you once she has perfected it. She does not like to show weakness, and she is quite the perfectionist.
She learns quickly and then will test the wrong answers just for fun. ;-) Whenever we do reading or math games together on the iPad, she will look at me and say: Well, we already know what the right answer is...what do you think will happen if we choose the wrong one? That looks like more fun!
So, all this leads me to why we are going to start homeschooling Ginger. She has made it abundantly clear time and time again that she needs to trust her teacher completely - and she needs to have the room to explore and learn on her own.
We're working on reading, math, writing, and Spanish - and also I am going to throw in a few extra topics like computer programming and chess...just because I think she would LOVE that! :-)
Posted by Erika at 4:58 PM