(Above: Ginger reading in her favorite spot.)
I read somewhere that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week! I remember when Paprika was in Kindergarten in our local public school, this meant buying gifts for her teachers, and doing other things to appreciate their efforts. Now that I’m homeschooling, (and according to the State of California, running my own private school!) – I am a teacher, too. All parents are teachers, really.
I often forget about the huge undertaking of homeschooling, because it’s just part of my life and has been for many years now. I feel appreciated every day – truly – by my students. And truthfully, I am their student, as well. They teach me more than I teach them. (Patience, for one thing!)
Homeschooling is a JOY for me, and I feel like I was made to do it. I love everything about it – and I can say that 100% truthfully. I consider it an honor to faciliatate their learning, watch them grow, guide them, and just be with them every day. We homeschool year-round, and pretty much every day (except major holidays) because it’s just that fun.
Most schools are wrapping up their year now, and getting ready for the excitement of summer. I feel like we get that excitement year-round, and every day is a chance to learn something, too.
For example, last week – Ginger (8) decided (on top of everything else) to teach herself the Trachtenberg System for mental math. You can watch YouTube videos about it – or check it out for free online. Basically, it’s a mental math system developed by a man who was in a Nazi concentration camp. He came up with a method of multiplying large numbers (six and seven digits, for example) in his head. He wrote down the system and it’s pretty straight-forward once you get the hang of it. Once Ginger started teaching herself, then Violet (6) had to learn it, as well.
It was just child’s play to them – like climbing trees and playing with legos. They don’t see the difference between learning and play – I love that.
Ginger (8) reading in her second favorite spot – the couch in the garage! We leave the garage door open during the day, and there’s so much natural light. It’s become the girls’ private clubhouse, and I often find them curled up with books on the couch. One day I’d like to make this space more of a library, but for now – it’s great…even with the old bed frames and canvases in the background! 🙂
Miss Violet got Student of the Week this week at piano lessons! She was so proud of herself and loved reading the special note from her teacher.
One of Ellie’s favorite things is for Violet to drive her around the block (on the sidewalk) in their red car. Violet is a great driver (really!) and loves to put pedal to the metal. Oh boy. The faster she goes, the more excited Ellie gets. Ellie (3) desperately wants to drive the car – but I’m not ready for that yet!
I’ve been thinking a lot about Paprika (11) and how she’d be doing in Middle School. Because of her age cut-off, she’d be in 5th grade in her traditional school – going into 6th grade next year. I can’t imagine that! She’s very happy to be homeschooled – and it really fits with her personality.
She is having a lot of fun with her studies. One thing she’s doing now is taking college courses at Study.com. They are independent study, AP-level classes. She takes them independently, and then when she’s ready she can take the AP, Clep, or Dantes tests for college credit. The Clep and Dantes credits are similar to AP (Advanced Placement) tests – but you can take the Clep/Dantes tests on a computer any time of year, instead of just once/year at a high school. Then the credits transfer to many four year colleges/universities (not all, but a lot!)
Anyhoo – right now she’s taking American Government, Art History, Spanish, and AP Biology. She is also doing Algebra (Teaching Textbooks) – and of course, reading a billion books/week and writing fiction. We have such a wonderful time discussing everything she’s learning.
Her favorite spot is our local library (within walking distance), followed closely by Barnes and Noble.
Violet (6) loves to play outside, read books, do lots of art projects, math, learn piano, and build with legos. She’s creative, and so easy-going. When she grows up, she wants to be a fashion designer, and live part-time in Antarctica with Ginger. She wants to have three daughters: Rose, Lily, and Marigold. And a son named Larry (after the horse “Little Larry” she rode when we went to Indiana).
When Ginger grows up, she wants to be a doctor who develops a cure for diabetes. She also wants to live in Antarctica, and have a bakery there for the scientists and future residents. She is hoping to build a house in Antarctica next to Violet, and I am welcome to live with her, as well! Think I’ll summer there. 🙂
Ginger baking today:
Ginger (8) loves being in quiet solitude, where she can think. Her favorite place is high up in a tree. She reads non-fiction and only occasionally fiction. (Unlike Paprika who adores fiction and doesn’t care much for non-fiction.) When Ginger reads fiction, she gets annoyed at how illogical the characters are, and decides their motivations are silly. She loves reading poetry, medical textbooks, science books, doing math, and reading about the human body.
She loves looking up recipes on my old phone, and baking something new every day. She LOVES playing piano and plays for the joy of it – not just because she knows she needs to practice. She composes her own songs, and loves modulating her practice pieces.
Most of all, she loves thinking – and imagining stories about the world. She is an amazing sister, and is a giving, loving person. She loves nature and never met an animal or bug she didn’t love. Her favorite place to be is outdoors – preferably on a tree limb!
Paprika loves playing violin and piano – and practices both every day. This is her today at her violin lesson:
Violet (today) making a car out of Legos and playing with her Lego minifigures. She loves to build worlds with Legos, and then go wild with her imagination inside her imaginary kingdom! Also, in this picture – you can see Ginger in the background, baking…of course!
I feel so privileged to get to homeschool – and that’s pretty much all the teacher appreciation I need. And just because I don’t want to leave Ellie out – I had to include this picture of her from the other day. She is changing and growing so much. She is learning new things all the time, and often surprises me with what she knows. She is racing to catch up with her sisters, and not too far behind! For example, she already started on Reading Eggs, Jr. It’s all going so fast. Slow down, time! 🙂
Since I can’t slow down time, I’ll just enjoy it along the way.