Friday, May 2, 2008

Skule Daze

When Urban Dad was addressing a birthday card for his niece......

How do you spell "Michaela?"

Michael plus an "a."


How do you spell "Michael?"

(stunned pause)

Dude, it's your middle name!

So yeah, spelling is NOT a strong point for the U-Dad. Ironic, considering that he's a high school English teacher, and a damn good one, at that. And he can finish the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. And figure out the blasted Jumble that always drives me bat-sh**-crazy.

And where am I going with this? I'm noticing on my homeschool-mommy-message board that people are planning for their next year of schooling. And now I'm wondering what to do with Urban Kid 1. Start 1st grade work? Cruise like we are and let her hang out and enjoy being little? Would I be challenging her enough? Or if we start 1st-grade work, will I be laying too much on her? Will any of this help in the probably inevitable therapy that she will need as a result of being my child?

The column over there on the left of her Academics/Activities will dwindle over the next several weeks. U-Dad will be around for the summer, so we're doing lots of Family Time. Which should set us up nicely for a countdown to Labor Day.... (no, I'm kidding... mostly...)

Once it builds up again in the Fall, it will include The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, Saxon Math 1, Spanish class, Art class, Piano class, plus Soccer and/or Swimming as the mood strikes us. She'll turn 5yo in September, and is currently reading at a 1st-grade level.

And there's Urban Kid 2 to consider. SHE should be allowed a bit of therapy-inducing time with Mom and some fun, right???? She's a member of the Urban Family, with full rights and privileges!

Ok, seriously Val, what does that have to do with U-Dad's spelling?

After perusing my trusty copy of The Well-Trained Mind, the only book that convinced me that we could actually do this homeschool thing, I think that we'll just add Spelling in the Fall.

Once we are in a comfortable groove, and once the weather goes to hell -- which is only about 5-6 months of the year in Chicago, then we'll re-visit what we're doing and fold in another layer -- perhaps Grammar. Then perhaps another and another, eventually including History, Science, etc. In other words, instead of doing a "ready, set, GO" approach, I'm opting for more on an "on-ramp to the Educational Superhighway" approach.

If that makes sense to anyone but me. And her future therapist.

But she HAS to spell better than her Daddy!


Maria said...

When I started reading this I was thinking.."you know what I'D do..." and then I finished and said, "Ya, that's what I'D do..." so great minds think alike and all know, just in case you actually WANTED my opinion ;)

Rachel said...

I'm all for the ramp-up approach. I was a dedicated unschooler up until each of my children were in 4th grade so I did the ultimate ramp-up...LOL! Now that they are teens I find the ramp-up approach even more important.

Spelling seems to be a lost art with the advent of spellcheck so rock on!

Urban Mom said...

Awww, thanks! I *really* appreciate your feedback!!!! (yes, i DO want your opinion!!)


Karen said...

I think the ramp-up approach is wonderful, and it gives you plenty of time to evaluate if the new thing is working.


Cathy Adamkiewicz said...

You are right on with your approach -- especially if you are in for the long haul. The thing about kids -- they learn whether we want them to or not. :) Strap on your seatbelts and enjoy the ride. (You may even want to add a helmet 'cause you're bound to have some speed racer moments.)
Don't forget to save up for some therapy for yourself. JK, you'll all be fine. Enjoy!