Friday, October 14, 2011

schooling outside the box

sometimes homeschooling is great and i don't hate it at all. there are certainly days when i want to shuck that kid off to school & pass her aspie issues to someone else so i can have a break, but so far this school year, we're doing quite well. i've made a lot of changes in how i structure our days and it seems to be working nicely for the brookster. i'm more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person, but she's not & since it's her education we're working on here, i need to be more flexible in accomodating her need for a schedule.
we've had great sucess in keeping the cats close at hand for intermittent "kitty therapy" when brooke starts to feel overwhelmed. it helps to defuse volatile school situations when she can dig her fingers into some warm kitty fur for a minute.



though, sometimes, the cats can be more of a distraction than a help...



i was trying to help her understand fractions a couple days ago and the little manipulatives we were using weren't quite making the point. so i wrote on her feet. i told her that if i was only in the mood to eat 1/3 of her foot, look how much she'd still have left!
and this one, brooke took of herself. she was doing an art project where she needed to make a realistic picture of someone lost in thought. she couldn't think of exactly how to draw it, so she set up my camera on a timer & posed herself in the position she wanted to draw her picture critter. here's her drawing.

and when we have to tackle things that i know are going to be really difficult, i try to think outside the box in order to make them more fun. for instance, yesterday we were needing to do some dictionary practice. brooke detests doing anything dictionary related. alphabetizing is really hard for her and spelling is rough too, so i had to come up with a way to make it less suckish. so i had her look up the following words: plop, boll weevil, tuna, fat, urine, hag, tinkle, spit, breast, tinkle, mud. then i read the definitions to her in a very prim, proper voice. today, she's begging for more dictionary time and she even said that if we don't have time for it during school hours, maybe we could do it after school. i would have to count that as a win.

i suppose i need to do a little work on phone etiquette though because yesterday when we were at my sister's house, the phone rang. brooke picked it up and said, "woof," then hung up. oops.

20 comments:

  1. Writing on the foot to show fractions. How neat is that? Now that's something you wouldn't see in a public school. Or a parochial school (although you would see nuns).

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  2. Foot fractions. Great idea. The next thing you know, that will be the latest "Baby Geniuses" learning tool sold on HSN but I'll remember that I heard about it here first.

    You are such a fun mom and a creative teacher. Maybe I'll contact you the next time my daughter comes home from college with a question in science or math and then rolls here eyes at me when I try to help her with it.

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  3. Honestly, you're doing a great job with the whole home schooling thing although you may not feel like you are during certain days. You're teaching just fine so don't worry about it at all, just keep caring like you are now.

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  4. Sherilin, if only I had a teacher like you back in school. Why does school have to have all the fun starched out of it? So boring. I loved this post thought, it was so interesting to see what you two do--even with the silly kitty!

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  5. i hated most of the years i spent in school. they alternated between being painfully boring & tense. i realize that not everything can be taught in a fun or entertaining way, but a lot of it can. and if you toss in enough fun stuff, it takes the sting out of the more dull aspects of school.
    it makes me feel good when i post some of our schooling stuff on here & people shovel some positive affirmation my way. it's nice to see that maybe i really am doing something right & not just losing my mind here, playing school. thanks!

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  6. Love it! You are such an inspiration!!!

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  7. Phenomenal... simply phenomenal!kudos!!!!

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  8. I think homeschooling would take some real "preparation and commitment" from the parent admistering it.
    good for you
    I have found from other's I know who home school, they do some pretty creative things with their children...
    I guess we all need something soft and furry to stick our fingers in sometimes (ooooo, did that come out right?)
    I love her drawing!!!

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  9. So much like my son. His home schooling year has been going great also. He is even doing next years maths. I love the things you come up with.. you've given me some ideas!

    Tell Brooke he drawing is sensational!

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  10. you and i would have had fun homeschooling together....my one daughter swears she did not learn a thing.......she did, it was all done by fun and games.

    love the foot.

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  11. You're such a cool person. I miss you.

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  12. I wish you could have taught me fractions - I still can't do them. I marvel at your ability to home school. I tried to teach Son French and I nearly had a breakdown even though I am a linguist and was a teacher. teaching your own is hard work but isn't she gorgeous and the cat is adorable too.
    You should get full marks for this :)
    Carol

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  13. You're such a good mom! You sound like you are a really good teacher too!

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  14. Ha... "woof!" I like to do things outside the box. makes life fun! Nice job on the fraction feet, and i may have to do the fun dictionary words for madison.

    HOw's everything going? Love all the kitty therapy. We have lots of that going on around here too!

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  15. I am in awe of you. It takes a lot of committment to teach your own child, I tried it with my son, and it was the frustrating experience of my life. And the fact that you're willing to swing outside that box? Good for you! She will be the better off for it, and you will come out the other end of this knowing that you have made a great achievement with your daughter. She did a great drawing, by the way! (And personally, I wouldn't mind answering the phone and saying "woof" and hanging up. It'd be kindof fun.)

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  16. way to go, mama! too bad all school isn't this fun!

    i gotta say, if that spelling list came home, i think i'd crap my pants.

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  17. Wow! I am so in awe of you.....this is amazing and wonderful on so many levels. I sometimes wish I had it in me to be able to do this, but I do know my limitations. Sending you so much respect!

    Thanks for your comment on the "birth parent"search post. ;)

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  18. I have been having a heck of a time commenting - weirdo browsers on various computers! Any-whoosie - Dictionary time sounds like a blast at your house. I'll be right over! And the drawing is AWESOME! What a talent she is!

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  19. Oh,Sherilin, I LOVED your little foot lesson. :-) Perfect.

    Pearl

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don't let me be the only one doing the talking around here. spill your guts!