Learning to Let Go of My Inner Classroom Teacher
From the time I was in 8th grade, I wanted to be a music teacher. When I graduated from college with my Bachelor of Music in Music Education I had a plan.
But, God had different plans for me.
Before I started homeschooling, when people would ask me about it I would reply “I went to school to be a teacher, so I’m not nervous about teaching.”
I went to school to be a CLASSROOM music TEACHER.
I love charts, chalkboards, pointers, powerpoints, visual aids – you name it I can rock it. I was prepared to teach hour long lessons to students who wanted (for the most part) to learn (although maybe not to practice) and band classes full of young musicians.
Then I had my Billy.
My sweet, kinesthetic Billy.
Billy is not a classroom student. That’s a major part of why we’re homeschooling. But I am a classroom trained teacher. I want to lead a lesson and have him dutifully follow along.
Yet I know that’s not how he learns. So every day I surrender my classroom teacher and walk forward as a delight directed homeschooler.
Yesterday this is what our homeschool looked like: We started the day with some “What’s in the Bible” (lately we’ve been starting by reading a chapter out of his Adventure Bible, but I was running behind, so that got moved until before bedtime). This was our bible study (for those of you WITB fans, DVD 3, the “Pentatuch” Steamboat song? I have been running around all day singing “Deuteronomy! Deu-ter-on-o-meeeeee!!” :))
After breakfast Billy wanted to play PBSKids.org. His latest fascination has been “Martha Speaks” Particularly the game called “Pup Talk.” (I don’t have a problem with online games, particularly if they are educational. I just make sure – as always – I’m supervising.)
He played for a little while this morning and then we went down to the playroom. We did some work on telling time and played the Time Travel (Learn to Tell Time) game from ABCYa.com together (in 1st grade section, scroll down to “numbers” tab) using our construction paper clock to figure out the way it should look before adjusting the clock on the screen. We didn’t make it to the end of the level we selected (level 2) because we had a…disagreement….about where the hour hand should be at 6:55. After that Billy was done.
That was okay. I am very happy with how well he’s progressing learning the analog clock and how thoughtful he is being about figuring out what the clock will look like by hand first. We finally got over the hurdle of the minute hand (just because it is on “9″ doesn’t mean that it’s 12:09) so I am encouraged by that.
After lunch he wanted to play “Pup Talk” some more. I agreed while I was taking care of the little guys but then I thought I should make him stop.
The classroom teacher wanted to do her lesson.
She almost missed the fact that Billy was learning some of the very concepts she wanted to teach by having fun playing the game he wanted to play.
Thankfully, I tuned in (or rather, God tuned me in) to my son – my student – with my delight directed ears and heard what he was learning:
“Pup Talk” introduces literary concepts to kids and has them use the computer’s microphone to record a story based on pictures they see (which animate as they speak). You can read the full description at the PBSKids.org “parents and teachers” section here.
Book facts (main character, author). Story structure (beginning, middle and end). Creativity (telling a story based on a picture). All things I wanted to teach Billy (and still will, don’t get me wrong) through our study of The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis – but I love that he’s learning it (and wanting to learn it) on his own too!
Billy didn’t just do one story, he did at least a dozen. With every story he “made” he got better and better about adding details; why was the person fishing?, how did the dog feel about the butterflies? and more fluidly connecting the 3 parts of the story.
All of this with little to no input or direction from Mrs. Mommy.
This is why we chose the delight directed path. Billy is a smart kid and loves to learn – at his pace. I’m learning more and more to let go of my inner classroom teacher and become the learning facilitator that Billy needs me to be.
What teaching/learning styles do you use in your homeschool? Have you ever considered or do you use a delight directed approach? What does that look like in your home?