Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can’t do this in a public school!

Have you ever had a hard time putting a book down? Admit it. Hasn’t there been at least one time when you should have turned off the light, but you read halfway through the night? Certainly I have! I even pawned off cooking duties on my husband once when I couldn’t put a book down.

I suspected that keeping a steady supply of good books for 12-year-old Larissa to read would be this year’s challenge. It’s her first year of homeschooling, so I’m just getting to know her learning style. And I’ve had a few surprises.

I knew that Larissa is an avid reader, but she’s always been a conscientious student. I thought that when I gave her a list of the day’s assignments, she would get them done quickly, then have the rest of the day to do something fun – like read some more! But I’m going to have to change my expectations. Or my assignments.

During August, I started homeschooling on a part-time basis, giving the kids only reading assignments (literature), vocabulary drills, and one other subject – art for Larissa. When I gave Larissa Bridge to Terebithia, she read it the same day. It wasn’t a big surprise; she didn’t have many other assignments.

Yesterday I gave Larissa The Adventure of Tom Sawyer for her next literature assignment. She had a generous ten days in which to read the book. But once she got it into her hands, all other assignments – science, art, French, music… – disappeared from her conscience and she was transported to the shores of the Mississippi River to join the fun and frolicking of a bygone era. She didn’t stop reading until she’d finished the book.

So I can see that she’ll be reading way, way more than I wrote on her IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan). And that I’ll have to give her a list of weekly assignments rather than daily tasks to complete. (She still hasn’t done yesterday’s science.) But the daily task list is something that my son needs to stay on track. So I’ll have to adjust expectations and assignments based on each child’s learning style.

But to skip all your classes and sit in your English class to read a classic – it’s just not done in public school.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

True! I used to get in trouble for reading books under my desk in elementary school and my teachers didn't even give me a break for them being classics. Sheesh! I like the weekly assignments approach just to work around those reading binges.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)