Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Have I ever mentioned

how much I love Charlotte Mason and homeschooling? As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are falling into a nice flow to our days, no, not perfect, far from perfect, but for us, it is working and we are learning.

Foo was very inspired by a physics demonstration that he saw at our First Friday session. Of course the instructor is full of passion for the subject which would make ANYONE love physics, but especially my son. He has been completely immersed in finding out more and more about physics each day.

In the meantime, I've yet to pick a true science curriculum for him. He's never had a formal course in science, yet our years of hit and miss nature study, botched fun experiements, and his own curiosity have somehow provided him with a working knowledge of science terms and situations.

I would not have required him to have a formal course in science until High School and only then if he was thinking of a science background in his future. He, however, has been asking for one. He wants a fun one, one with experiments and "cool stuff!"

So, the hunt had begun but nothing was meeting his criteria, nor mine. Not only must it meet his ideals, but it must be living. It must be passionate. I decided that if it takes me several months to find a program, so be it. In the meantime, I'd let him pick different books, websites, etc to read and explore. Today, something happened. I found a website on Newton's Laws that was quite fun. He shelved History for the day (with my permission) and worked on demonstrating all three of Newton's Laws and then writing a brief conclusion. He is not completely satisfied with his conclusion and wants to try a few more experiments before he finishes his conclusion. At first he said, "I already know how this is going to turn out, but I want to prove Newton wrong!" I laughed and wished him luck. Several hours later, I found he had created a "vortex generator" out of an empty fruit can, balloon, cardboard, and duct tape. (Is there an engineer anywhere in this world that does not own duct tape??)

He went around the house all night lighting candles and using his vortex generator to blow them out. He was in heaven.

Tonight, after asking for some suggestions for a "conceptual physics" program that I might be able to do mini-unit studies with, I found a book that looks perfect for us.
Touch This: Conceptual Physics for Everyone appears to be exactly what we are looking for. If nothing else, I think it will give us a nice overview to each concept which we can then explore on our own. You can read a nice review on it here.

We have had so many years of imperfect homeschooling around here, in fact, every single one of them have been imperfect. I dare say, most of them haven't turned out anywhere near to the "plan" that I sweat and labor over for weeks on end before school begins, yet, somehow, through the grace of God, my children learn. My children are finding their own passions. It is a wonderful process to watch and to know that I haven't crammed anything into them. They have absorbed it instead.

I am so excited to watch each of them grow into the people they are meant to be. Every moment is an exciting journey that has me begging for more.

So on the days when we think, "I am doing a lousy job. I can't do this. They hate me. I'm not giving them what I should be. They'd be better off if I put them in school." Stop. Remember that HE is the one that is educating them. He is using us as the medium. We just need to listen to the needs of each child and not try to fit the child to the curriculum. As my dear friend, Cindy told me time and time again, "Do not be a slave to the curriculum (or the schedule), let the curriculum (or schedule) be a slave to you!" I am seeing the fruits of this every day. And it is sweet!


Laura The Crazy Mama said...

looked fun. I haven't explored the whole thing, but it looks like it might be useful to you. I have a ten year old duct tape addict. He needs serious help. Whenever I say, "HEEEEEY, where's my tape?" he sheepishly slinks away to hide the evidence. I should take a picture of all of his "experiments" he's collected over the years. What a weirdo. He'll probably invent some kind of teleporting machine when he gets big, so I guess I'd better be nice to him!

Sherri said...

Beautiful, encouraging post!