Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Directions ...

I originally began this blog as a way to process out loud about our homeschool math experiment.  I will continue to blog about that as interesting things pop up.  But since I've laid out the basics, now I'd like to start a few new threads.  Here's what's been rattling around in my brain ...

Finding Beauty in Phonics

Recently, I listened to Sarah Mackenzie interviewing Andrew Kern.  Andrew Kern was encouraging moms/parents to be about the business of opening the eyes of their children to beauty, to be intentional about regularly putting beautiful things before their children.  Sarah Mackenzie asked "What would you say to a busy mom who says she doesn't have time to put beauty before her children because she has to teach math and phonics?"  Kern's response?  "I would say that math and phonics are beautiful!"

We've already been growing in our understanding of math as something beautiful to engage as a topic of conversation and to enjoy.  Recently, in my efforts to make more one-on-one time with my new reader and with my struggling reader, I've rediscovered the joy of uncovering new and curious things about this language that we read, write and speak.  I'm hoping to share little nuggets of interesting information and also ideas for phonics "investigations" with your kiddos.  I am hoping that this series will be of use to a wide range of folks - mamas of the littlest littles who want to prep for teaching pre-readers to older elementary kids who want the chance to dig deep into why English does what it does!

Math in Real Life: Board Gaming

Call me a snob if you like, but I'm not a super huge fan of "math board games".  In my experience (though I'd be happy to find a counterexample) most math board games put a higher priority on "educational" content and a lower priority on balanced mechanics, gameplay and replayability.  Plus, I'm not convinced that playing "educational board games" really counts as "living math" ... or perhaps it does, but only to the level that word problems count as "living math": something created to resemble real life for the purpose of teaching a math concept.

I'm not against word problems.  And I'm not against educational board games.  But what I really love to do is to play board games - real board games that were made primarily to be fun to play - and to engage with the children about how our understanding of mathematics facilitates our ability to play well and to make good choices in the game.  Our family is somewhat of a board gaming family so this is already a passion of ours and I want to help the children explore how math relates!  Want to join us in this exploration?

Mama as "Marriage Counselor"

Sure, academics and thoughts about academics take up a big portion of a homeschool mom's brain.  But for anyone (homeschool mom or not!) who has more than one kid, sibling interaction is a big part of the day and guiding them is a big part of a mom's job.  Over the last couple of years the Lord has really been re-formatting my thinking on this and my role in helping siblings to navigate disputes has shifted from the role of a "judge" to that of a "marriage counselor" - helping each person to know how best to love another with whom they live side-by-side, share space and possessions, clean up after and to whom they have a life-long commitment!

I certainly don't claim to have any kind of "silver bullet" that will "fix" sibling problems.  In fact, that really isn't my goal in my own home.  Rather, my goal is to use the "sticky spots" that commonly arise to teach my kids lessons that will have broad application throughout the course of their lives - lessons on how to know and understand their own hearts and on how to love others, even when those others are acting like enemies.

And ... Scoping!!

In addition to blogging here, I'm also hoping to start "Scoping" on Periscope soon on each of these three topics.  If you have a smartphone, you can download the Periscope app and follow me @hswotrainingwls (if you're on your phone you can click the link to find my profile).  I'd love to see you there and to have your interaction and input.  (Of course, I'd love to have your interaction and input here, too!)

1 comment:

  1. I love these thoughts. Board know I love. Your eye-opening explanations of phonics are fascinating. Revealing beauty. Gonna be thinking on that (and I'll read the next one which explains more). Marriage counsellor - oh my goodness. So true.