Tag Archives | schooling saturday

Schooling Saturday: Hola! Language Learning for Littles

I hope you have all had a great week!

Yesterday was our homeschool co-op day. One of the classes my youngest children have been involved in for the last few weeks is Spanish. Each week they practice a lot of role playing, with the children taking turns being the “guest” who comes and says, “Hola!” to which everyone in the room responds, “Hola!” and they go through other words and phrases they are learning. “What is your name?” “My name is _____” “Good morning”, and so forth.

I knew my 3 year old and 6 year old were picking up a good bit, even from just this hour a week. But I didn’t think about the other little ear’s that might be learning. That is, until yesterday.

Our first student stepped out to begin the “script”, and walked back in the room. Everyone waved and said, “Hola!” Including Nehemiah, my 13-month old! He has some words, but isn’t a consistent talker yet, so it definitely took me by surprise! He repeated it on several other occasions yesterday (possibly because I thought it was so funny I kept trying to get him to repeat it!).

It was a great demonstration of how easy it is for littles to learn a variety of languages. I’m very excited about it, even if we might get some strange looks when my pasty white baby greets strangers with, “Hola!”

Has your family learned a foreign language? Do you have any funny moments to share?

 

 

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Schooling Saturday: We are “Rowing” Again!

I’m happy to report we are all finally well again. For the moment! I admit I cringe every time we go to a public place wondering if we will pick up something else, but that’s a whole different post ;)

The highlight of our school week for me is that we are “rowing” again! If you don’t know what I’m talking about (and you probably don’t!), “rowing” refers to the curriculum Five in a Row. Five in a Row is a great unit study curriculum that uses high quality children’s books to teach language arts, social studies, geography, science, and art. You read the book every day for five days, and each day you use part of the story to springboard learning in a related area.

We’ve always loved Five in a Row. We started out rowing a few titles when Makaylah was preschool age, and then used it as our main curriculum when she officially started kindergarten. Our first book was Madeline, and both my girls still remember things we learned about during that week!

When our new co-op wanted to do a story hour for the younger age group, Five in a Row came to mind right away! Although I knew  I wouldn’t be able to offer the benefits of repeated reading to the group, I was  excited about sharing the wonderful stories and activities in my Five in a Row manual.

I chose Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, as our first book.

I love the sweetness of this story about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard looking around Boston for a good place to raise their family. We learned about the Caldecott Medal, Boston, and ducks, and hopefully all in a way that will stick in their young minds!

This week I will be doing some of the other activities from the manual here at home, along with reading the book every day. I look forward to the wonderful memories I know we will make!

If you are interested in finding out more about Five in a Row, be sure to check out their website. They have very active forums frequented by wonderful Five in a Row veteran moms who are always happy to answer questions, and by Steve and Jane Lambert, the creators of Five in a Row!

Do I have any fellow “rowers” reading here? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


 

 

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Schooling Saturday: Why I Don’t Worry About Socialization

If there’s one question I’ve heard most often in the 15 or so years I’ve been involved in the homeschool community from others its “But what about socialization?” I always find this question humorous, because it’s just not something I’ve ever worried about.

When I was in eighth grade, I was given the choice to either homeschool or transfer to a public school from the small private school I was currently attending. The thought of a huge high school was completely overwhelming for the painfully shy, insecure girl that I was, and I chose to be homeschooled.

While being homeschooled, I lived with or spent extensive time with my cousins (twelve of them!). I took science classes with other homeschoolers (lab and all, if that’s something else you worry about). I took trips with my friends. I went to hockey games. I worked a part-time job and had some very interesting social experiences! I participated in Youth in Government, with two different statewide competitions each year. I made some stupid teenage decisions. I developed friendships. I had a graduation. And in those four years, I blossomed. I grew a lot in my confidence level, and came out of my shell. I went from being terrified of speaking in public to only mildly shaky at the idea ;)

I’m firmly convinced that having the opportunity to grow in my confidence level gradually, and interact with people in a more real-life way, was crucial to who I am today. If I had gone to a huge public highschool, and been forced to interact for hours and hours five days a week in that artificial, “mean girls” environment, I would have completely withdrawn. I probably would have retreated into some very poor choices as a coping mechanism that could have had lasting damage.

Yes, I just called schools an artificial environment. I don’t know any other time in our lives where we are forced to interact with 20-30 of our age-level peers for hours every day, regardless of common interest or goals. Since being married and having children, I’ve had friendships with my age-level peers from college. But I’ve also had dear friends who were also married with children close to my children’s age, who were 10-20 years my senior. And friendships with people who are in completely different stages of life, but we have other interests in common, or we just click. My husband works in an office. Some of his co-workers are a lot younger than him, a few around the same age, and some are a bit older. ;)

Now, none of the above is meant to criticize those who choose to send their children to public school. If its working for your family, that is great! But I don’t think it is the only (or even the best) method for children to be socialized.

Maybe you’re reading all this, and you’re still thinking, “Yeah, but I know this one kid who was homeschooled, and he was so socially awkward.” I’m not discounting that experience. I am quite sure there are socially awkward homeschoolers. But don’t you remember some socially awkward kids at your school? I know I remember some, and have met some completely awkward adults who made it through public school still awkward. Some people are just more socially challenged, regardless of where they go to school, so please don’t write us all of because of that one kid or family.

Since I’m not worried about socialization, we spend all our time at home sitting around the kitchen table, right? Well, not quite ;) I’ll share a bit more about the ways we do get out in the world, and tips for giving homeschooled children opportunities to make friends outside the family next week.

Do you worry about socialization? Do you think it’s hard for homeschoolers to be properly socialized? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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