Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Small Exaggerations....

We are currently studying India and are really enjoying it - almost too much. We are far past the date I'd set as having India complete.

We have colorful books with great information  they love to look through and some great story books they have read numerous times. We've made a salt dough map, have a half decorated festival elephant on our wall, got henna tattoos ....so many cool things.

But we need a way to pull this all together. Something to show what we know - the capitol, some rivers, something to tie it up other than a dance or a meal. Something with basic but important information. (And yes, something concrete to put in their binder. I admit it.)

A friend of mine emailed me her format for a brochure that I really like. The kids can individualize it and still provide basics like population, capitol, imports and exports. So I printed it all out on Friday, brought each kid to me and explained what we were going to do.
1) Collect some pictures.
2) Collect the information.
3) Cut out the boxes
4) Lay them out on folder to see how we want it to look
5) Paste

I went over this numerous times - we all know how distractable Sarah and John are. So many times I told, showed and pantomimed what we needed to do.
I walked away. (I.Walked.Away.)

I started showing Violet what to do.
I heard giggling.
I thought, "Aww, that's so awesome. This is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. Sarah and John are encouraging each other and giggling together as they work. I rock this home school deal."

I look over. The glue is out and every.single.one of the pictures they printed and the boxes they were supposed to write in has been cut out. The pictures are being saturated with glue and glued haphazardly onto the folders. Not a single directions has been done in the order it needed to be done.

My head exploded and this is what I heard inside it:
OMG I have ruined my children! Ruined them!! I've encouraged so much creativity and uniqueness this year that now they cannot conform for one little thing. Essays on college applications...ruined. Science experiments ....ruined -things will get blown up! Pen and paper tests ....fail. They're just going to create pictures with the dots because that's unique and different.

For real.
This is how I think when it comes to teaching my kids. I think, "Wow, this is great - they are getting  many important skills all at once AND we still have freedom and creativity!"

Then Sarah cannot grasp how to compare and contrast two things and I panic. PANIC. 
"She'll never understand! All writing classes require this-it's a needed skill! She'll fail English 101  because she can't contrast Othello and Hamlet!!"

She's in the second grade.
Pretty sure we're going to hit on this skill again (and again) in the next 10 years.