Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When the students surpass the teacher

Today, Builder asked me what would happen when the day came that the kids would know more than me.  Of course, he tossed this question at me as he was leaving--which usually means he doesn't want an answer.  However, I do have an answer for him.  Something besides my tossed-off response about sending them to community college when they're fifteen.
First of all, a little perspective, please.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 are FIVE and THREE, respectively.  The chances that they will possess the knowledge base, or the skill set, of an adult are virtually non-existent for at least the next few years.  (And if, by some miracle, they are smarter than most adults before the age of ten, most schools wouldn't really want to deal with them.)
Secondly, there is a lot more to homeschooling than just teaching everything I know.  That's why there are these wonderful things called curricula.  For Thing 2, we mostly fool around with coloring, cutting, play and stories (again, she's THREE!  I'm not expecting a completely mastery of Shakespeare or the periodic table of elements for a while).  However, with Thing 1 (who would be in Kindergarten, or Pre-1a depending on whether you use public school or yeshiva terminology), I am not averse to planned programs.  In fact, we used Singapore Math and Handwriting Without Tears, both on the Kindergarten level.  She finished both books back in February. We also read through two different primers, McGuffey and Free/Treadwell.  We're still working on Hebrew reading, but she is definitely on track to receive a siddur around Shavout.  As they get older, there is the Ambleside Online curriculum (which I fell in love with a couple of years ago), materials from Torah U'Mesorah and Behrman House, Singapore Math, Life of Fred, Robert Bruce Thompson lab guides, Artistic infinitum.  Not to mention the wonderful learning experiences unique to NYC!  In fact, I would love it if my kids knew more than me!  Nothing would make me happier than my kids surpassing me in any area--history, literature, art, science, Chumash, mathematics, or even the fine art of being human.  To truly homeschool is to give children the ability to love learning, and the tools to learn anything they want for themselves.  And I'm determined to see that they can. 

1 comment:

  1. Well, usually for high school-maybe middle school, the kids either go to school then or switch gears a little and use videos and this is when the homeschool co-ops come in handy. Often if the co-op is big enough there's at least one parent with a bachelor's in just about any field that the students need. You are right, for now, you will teach them what you know/have brushed up on.

    I had a heated discussion with a woman I work for about homeschooling erev Pesach. Fun!


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