i read a woman's blog this evening in which she wrote about her family making the decision to home school their child. i found that it made me remember when my husband and i made the same decision. only our oldest one wasn't even of the age to start regular school. we had watched and listened to the stories our friend's, whose children attended public schools, would relay. stories of children not getting the assistance they needed. or of homework being sent home in a different language, and the class wasn't a language class.
so we figured that when the time came for our first born to start learning his abc's and 123's we would take the task on ourselves. it became my responsibility, and it turned out to be one i have enjoyed. i enjoyed "seeing" our wee son's gears turning in his growing brain. it was fascinating. i discovered that his way of learning was for me to explain it a couple of times and then to leave the subject alone. i would then return to to the topic a few days later and "ta da!" he would have grasped the concept.
i loved it when he showed an interest in a certain topic, because then we could investigate that idea in every way possible. through discussion, reading, writing, researching on the internet, talking with people, or maybe even watching a program. i looked at every thing that happened in our day as a way to learn. there was even a time when we, as a small young family, were going through a very hard time.we, our then small son of 5 and myself, were sitting outside one evening, it was dark and the stars were out. i started to pray about our circumstances out loud to God. it wasn't intentional, it was just one of those moments when you just need to seek solace in a higher being and it just tumbles from your mouth. my son looked at me and asked who God was? it wasn't that he had never heard of him or that the concept was foreign in our home, his question was one of someone really wanting an explanation of who this was. and so my moment of fear and doubt turned into a lesson on religion and faith.
now at the age of 16, i still find our oldest son's way of learning thrilling and exciting. most times, now a days, if he gets an idea into his head or becomes curious about something he researches until his heart's content. case in point, i read something in the news about some happening in space. i mentioned it to him and he popped off with all this information about black holes and crab nebulae. it blew my socks off, and it was wonderful.
i am older now and i have two, new young minds to help fill with, hopefully, useful knowledge. these two are definitely different. our middle son does not want any recognition that he got something correct. no pats on the back. the youngest one wants fanfare and applause for simply repeating a right answer his brother already gave. i do worry about our middle boy, though. i feel, often times, the information is not sinking in. i can not "see" his gears turning. i haven't learned his learning style as yet. and that concerns me. but then out of no where, when he doesn't think any of us, older ones, are listening he will inform, or correct his little brother on something. i have heard him say "no it's 'a' ", and the little one responds with "oh, okay". heaven's forbid i walk in and try to tell the middle one good job for helping out his baby brother. as soon as i make a positive remark, the middle one starts to whine, frown, and tells me to stop. odd little duck. but i just keep moving forward and hoping that one of these days, in some small moment, i will catch the faint hum of tiny gears turning. i feel it's a sound i shall never tire of.