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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Teaching the Teacher

I know that when I decided to homeschool I worried whether I would be an effective teacher for my children, whether I could actually provide for them the necessary components a teacher at the public school could provide. At first I was a little confused with what those components were, I provided a wall calendar, I had all these ideas on how to make our "learning room" look more like a classroom- a place where it is fun to learn.

I realized pretty quickly that I cannot be the public school teacher, my child was in front of me- not someone else's child, my child. Their heart and mind open to the person they trust the most, their mother expecting to be taught. We had behavioral issues at first and I became discouraged (especially that first day) but the more I teach, the more I learn. I learn about my individual child's strengths, my personal strengths and weaknesses, I understand a little more each day how my child's thinking processes happen. I can anticipate when they will want a break, a drink or just need more explanation about what we're learning. I try to stay intune to my children, it's not easy with all the other distractions- cleaning, cooking, errands, time-constraints, etc. Ultimately, I decided to homeschool because I felt I could provide what the public school does plus more (and minus a lot more). I take being my children's teacher seriously, sometimes too seriously- I want to know about educational methodologies, scope and sequences of curriculums, emotional, academic, and physical milestones to anticipate in my children, and I want to know what the end goal while trying to accomplish the smaller goals.

The more I teach, I realize I have a lot more to learn. We have homeschooling books that help us, provide models of learning and teaching and we are blessed to have them. Very blessed. I guess I'm on a "teacher" kick recently because I want to read just about anything I get my hands on about being a good/great/better teacher, even if it is geared towards classroom learning. I've been reading books about how best to teach a child a foreign language which has spilled over into all academics.

  1. The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet
  2. Marva Collins' Way by Marva Collins
  3. The Paideia Proposal by Mortimer Adler
  4. Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks
  5. Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking by Arthur L. Costa
  6. Little Big Minds by Marietta McCarty
It's not that I think reading these will create me into this great, wonderful teacher but I realize reading these will plant those seeds in my head that will grow when the opportunity arises. I've already started using a few Socratic discussion techniques that I read about in Little Big Minds with Camille and it was the most rewarding narration we've had. I find I have more patience with her when I understand a little more about how her brain works. I don't know much about Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking, I just thought the title sounded good so we'll see. I can however recommend the other books whole-heartedly! Especially, The Art of Teaching which I'm having a hard time putting down. I'm learning so much that I want to take notes!

I've been on vacation but I am home again, it's good to be home.



Kim said...

Thanks for sharing! I'll have to check them out. I enjoy reading about diffrent methods also.

amanda said...

It's good to see your avatar again. I'm sajolley from HSB.

As a classical method homeschooler, I've alway found great value in your posts. I'll be back.

Kathy D. said...

Yeah, you're back!! I've missed your posts since you've been gone.

Kathy D.

Jennefer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennefer said...

I too am glad you are back. I have enjoyed your almost daily postings. Thanks for sharing your journey with others!

Jennefer said...

Oops! I forgot to mention that you inspired me to start my own blog - an idea I had been considering for quite some time. I put a link to your blog under my favorites as well. I hope that's okay?

Thanks for the encouragement.