Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Logical Thoughts on Intimidation

It's time to start making curriculum plans for this coming school year. I've ordered the English and math texts and have settled down to look over them.

For those of you that home school, have you ever made the dreaded mistake of flipping to the back of a book to see what your child will have learned by the end of the year?

Oh, what an awful thing that is to do! I see what this book will be demanding of my daughter only nine short months from now, and I suddenly become overwhelmed at the thought of getting her to that point. Currently, I have an energetic seven year old who can hardly bear to keep a pencil in contact with paper long enough to write a complete sentence. I have sixty-one lessons to get her to the point where she can write a paragraph on a given subject with little or no direction from me.

I assure you, the task seems impossible.

I'm new at this home school thing - we've only just completed first grade (and that was intimidating enough!) If there's one thing I've learned though, it's never, ever to look at the big picture. It'll only make you tremble with fear at the always present thought of permanently ruining your child. Start at the beginning, and realize that each lesson, each day, will get you one step closer to that goal.

I made the same mistake last year when we got the math book. She was pretty good at visually identifying numbers up to twenty (as long as you skipped a few there in the middle.) I knew we had some work to do. Then I looked at lesson eighty-nine, the very last lesson in the book. Gah! Adding four-digit numbers? Carrying to the tens', hundreds', and thousands' place? Yep, I remember thinking it would be impossible to get her to that point.

Of course, by the time we'd made it through eighty-nine lessons, carrying was old hat and she adds eight digit numbers just to show off.

So we'll start with Lesson One in the English book, where she'll learn that a sentence is a complete thought. And with any luck, in nine months she'll be able to form several of them on her own.

And if not? Well heck, most high school students still can't form a complete thought, so I guess she won't be terribly behind. (That's a comforting thought when faced with the intimidation of homeschooling, don't you think?)


Anonymous said...

The books were written by human beings. They have some good stuff in them, but can't encompass a complete education for every child.
You'll do an awesome job of helping your baby learn exactly what it is she needs to understand this year.

inadvertent farmer said...

ROFL...you post made me giggle. Yes I completely understand the terror!

Just a reminder that we are getting near the end of the kinderGARDENS series and I'm urging everyone to link up as often as possible with their best posts. Soon the judges will be looking them over!

Have a happy Thursday! Kim