This blog is no longer being actively updated. Our daughter returned to public school in October 2013, and is doing very well. She adjusted to the change beautifully and we all feel like it was definitely the right thing to do. I am still more than happy to answer questions about homeschooling, or talk about our experiences with leaving and then returning to the public school system. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I wasn’t planning on taking a break this week but it happened anyway! I’ll be back next week with an update.
Hope you all had a great week!
I just spent a great deal of time learning more about my personality and temperament, using a variety of sorters and tests. I also had Lillia take a version of the MBTI test for kids because I thought it might be useful when planning curriculum and the structure of our day. It turns out that she is an ENFP.
Well, what does that mean?
ENFP stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. This type of person likes to be with others, is energetic, individualistic, and impulsive. They are also caring and empathetic. A short list of characteristics for an ENFP child might look like this:
– Oblivious or forgetful of rules.
– Working on many projects at once, but not necessarily completing any of them.
– Messy and unconcerned with cleaning up.
– Loud (without realizing it)!
– Often unaware or unconcerned about time and schedules.
– Rebellious, especially if they are asked to do something.
Lillia’s personality type is difficult to “teach,” because they are so easily distracted and they resist being asked to perform tasks, especially repetitive ones (like exercises, rote memorization, etc). I, on the other hand, am an INFJ. I like to learn things in an orderly fashion, and I will avoid conflict at all costs so I am much more likely to comply with demands. I am, in many ways, the opposite of Lillia. This makes it particularly challenging to create a learning environment that will fit both of our needs.
While I don’t have any particularly inspired ideas for dealing with our personality differences, in terms of the educational environment, it does help me to better understand (and appreciate) some of my daughter’s more challenging traits. As my husband says, our strengths work in tandem with our weaknesses — in fact, they are often one and the same.
Today we took a field trip to the Boston Museum of Science to visit the Mammoths & Mastodons exhibit, as part of our studies in Prehistory.
From a press release by the Boston Museum of Science:
BOSTON, October 3, 2012—On Sunday, October 7, 2012, at the New England premiere of Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age at the Museum of Science, Boston visitors will be able to journey back 20,000 years when ice sheets covered large land masses and giant, woolly beasts roamed the frozen north. The 7,500-square-foot traveling exhibit brings to life how these colossal creatures lived and interacted with one another and with early humans.
On exhibit through January 13, 2013, Mammoths and Mastodons offers visitors the opportunity to examine full-scale replicas of massive, long-haired Ice Age mammals and stand face-to-face with skeletons of these great beasts that they can touch and examine up close. The exhibit features some of the oldest art in existence, huge skulls and tusks, weird and wonderful mammoth relatives, and mastodon bones collected by William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) for President Thomas Jefferson’s own collection.
Featured in the exhibit is a replica of Lyuba (pronounced Lee-OO-bah), a 40,000-year-old, intact baby mammoth specimen that a Siberian reindeer herder and two of his sons discovered in 2007. According to The Field Museum, who developed the exhibit, Lyuba is, by far, the bestpreserved specimen of her kind and provides researchers with rare insights into the lives and habits of her species. The exhibit includes not only a replica cast of Lyuba’s body, but also CT scans and other scientific evidence that confirm existing theories about her species, as well as new insights.
Mammoths and Mastodons illustrates how despite the creatures’ great size – weighing as much as eight tons with tusks up to 16 feet long – and their ability to adapt, these species still went extinct.
We’re taking an impromptu break from homeschooling to enjoy the holidays.
Wishing you all the very best!
– The Wilson Family
I just wanted to share a link to this fantastic science education web site that I found earlier today. It’s called Aurum Science, and though I think it is geared toward older students, it has some fantastic worksheets about evolution that I will definitely be using during our first unit on prehistory. They might be too difficult for a young child to do independently, but I think they will be great for us to do together. I’m looking forward to learning something new! Aurum Science has units on Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science.
Here’s the link: http://www.aurumscience.com/
We have decided to…
Before I go into any details, I must first apologize for my complete lack of posts for the last few weeks. I meant to keep updating during our trial period, but it only ended up lasting a week. Then, we were going back and forth with our decision, and I just didn’t feel I had much to say in this space. But, now that we’ve decided for sure, I feel I can write posts again.
As you may have noticed, we have a new header, and our “homeschool experiment” is upgraded to an “adventure!” It took my husband quite a long time to come around to the idea. So long, in fact, that we actually ended up switching positions at the end — I was ready to send her to school! But, it had to happen this way because I wouldn’t have been successful without 100% of his support. There can be no acquiescing in this sort of decision.
During our trial week I learned A LOT about what would/wouldn’t work for us in a homeschooling situation. I have so many questions, but they will remain unanswered until we start our program in the fall. I think that it will be a “take it as it comes” sort of adventure, and I am okay with that.
We are still going to use some of Charlotte Mason’s ideas, but others just won’t work for us. And, though I love the Ambleside curriculum, I feel much more comfortable designing my own. Lillia will read many well-written, not-dumbed-down books. I am creating humanities “unit studies” based on various periods of history, and incorporating primary source literature as much as possible.
I feel very strongly that children should have access to primary sources when studying history. Professional historians use primary sources, not textbooks, for their work. If we want to stay true to the discipline, we should teach it the way professionals practice it. Also, children should be free to make their own connections and interpretations about the past. Simply memorizing names and dates does not make history meaningful.
We will also be combining the humanities unit with a science unit that is in some way connected. For example, during our first six weeks we will study Prehistory and Climate Change, which played a huge role in the development of human civilizations (people couldn’t really develop agriculture during the ice age…). This will ensure that Lillia learns modern science, but not in a void. She will learn the history of the science topics and why they are important today.
I have chosen to do the humanities units in chronological order because, as a history major, I find it completely illogical the way children learn history in school. They jump around between time periods, so everything is always out of context. There wouldn’t have been an Enlightenment without the Renaissance. There would be no U.S. History without the Enlightenment. See where I’m going with this? So, for the coming year, we’re going to cover Prehistory through Ancient Rome. If we decide to homeschool again next year, we’ll do the Middle Ages through the Enlightenment, which is a whole ton of stuff, especially because the closer we get to the present, the more cultures there are to study. And, each time period left more and more literature behind for us to read!
As I explained on my regular blog we have been super busy for the past week or so getting ready for this past weekend’s ballet performances. However, it’s all over now, and it’s the last day of school, so I’ll be gearing up to start our homeschool trial over the next week or so. Hopefully I’ll be able to get post some of the ideas that floating around in my head, just waiting for me to sit down and type them out. Looking forward to the summer ahead, and whatever may come in the future.
Hello everyone! Welcome to “The Wilson Family Homeschool Experiment.” As I have noted on my regular blog, my family is doing a three-week homeschool trial this summer. My daughter is very advanced, academically, but often complains of not being challenged. In addition, she sometimes has a difficult time when encountering new material, and her teachers have never been very patient with her, which causes a lot of unnecessary anxiety. It’s hard to learn when you’re stressed!
The plan for this blog entails writing posts about planning and implementing our “homeschool experiment,” as I like to call it. I’ll be doing a full and honest review of our experience when we’re done.