Thursday, March 1, 2012


Last night on the way to swim lessons, Olivia asked AGAIN about how the radio works. She has been obsessed with the topic of radio waves...those magical invisible sound waves that bounce around and feed magically into our car's radio. And WHY can't we rewind the radio like we can rewind the TV? (DVR has spoiled us forever.) So many questions about so many things.

Note to self: Must research radio waves and give her some accurate information.

It is times like these that I think it would be so great to homeschool. I could impart SO. MUCH. INFORMATION. And then I spend 20 minutes arguing with Olivia about putting her toys away or, you know, changing out of her PAJAMAS for heaven's sake, and I wonder about the wisdom of keeping her home. I can't get her to sit still for two minutes in time out, and I watch her sit quietly on the side of the pool, where her favorite thing in the world is (water) and WAIT patiently for her turn with the teacher...and LISTEN to the teachers' instructions.

Clearly, this child thrives on external authority in a learning environment, away from home.

Yes, she can and does learn a lot at home, but for the most part it comes from her own curiosity. "Mommy, how does the radio work?" "What makes a tornado able to blow down those houses?" "How does a plane fly in the air?" And then we go to the internet and research stuff and watch videos that explain or demonstrate the concept. And that's all good, but if I sat her down and said, "Hey, do you want to know why lightning and thunder always go together?" She'd say, "No, Mommy, I'm drawing right now! I want to play Barbies!"

It has to be her idea.

I have seen how they run the preschool class. Clearly, I am not cut out to be a preschool teacher. There is all this hands-on learning that involves tiny hands in shaving cream and water tables and all manner of messy, gooey substances. They learn about gravity and things that float and size and mass and how to write lower case letters in the shaving cream. It's all very good. It is all stuff that would drive me freaking batty at home.

In a group, Olivia likes to be a leader. Which is why I think it's good for her to stay in a group. I have some concerns that she'll still be in pre-K next year even though she has mastered many concepts and skills that kindergarteners are working on at this time of year. I'm afraid that, eventually (like 2nd or 3rd grade) she'll be bored out of her mind because the school work will not be challenging for her. The kid is bright, but I guess we'll deal with that when it comes.

I'm not at all concerned about her spending more time in the creative play level of learning because she never tires of it. I just wish there was a good way to do schooling in a group and stay in the "creative play" mindset as the years pass. I know there are charter schools and homeschool groups out there that do stuff like that, but we are rather isolated from such groups by where we live and actually feel pretty fortunate that there is a Catholic school available to us.

In the meantime, I will lean heavily on the internet to answer her many questions. How did parents EVER attempt to educate their own children before the invention of the internet?

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