Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homeschool For Mommy

In recent weeks, a few things have been brought to my attention, bringing my intelligence into question (such as right, now when I tried to type "intelligence" and spell check had to remind me how to do it).

Anyway, I began homeschooling Elijah at the beginning of the month. This homeschool curriculum (couldn't spell that either), begins teaching cursive in Pre-K and Kindergarten. They believe it is actually easier to learn that first because of the swift, fluid motions and rarely picking up the pencil. It makes sense really. The teacher's manual asks that the homeschool instructor writes the student's name on the top of his school work until he has learned how to write it himself. It actually referred me to a guide where I could get a refresher on how to write cursive letters in order to do it properly, thus enforcing good writing habits in my child. I didn't need that. I was a pro. Besides, it's not like there are any particularly tricky letters in the name, "Elijah."

So I wrote it on his very first assignment:

But even as I wrote it, I realized I was not as confident as I thought I should be. See that house? This is taught by referring to the upstairs, downstairs, and basement, so the children get the reference of where their pencils should start and stop with each letter. As I have gone farther into the lessons, I have realized there are many things wrong with how I wrote his name, and so I have had to refer to the silly guide.

Would you look at that? Huh. As it turns out, I didn't remember the proper way to write about 90% of the capital letters. In fact, I don't ever remember learning to put two different loops in my capital E, my 'j' was supposed to touch the basement floor and didn't, and my letters were supposed to be slanted (you  must slant your paper for proper effect), and they weren't. FAIL. Also, would you look at that Q. It looks like my number 2, which is also wrong according to this guide.

This upset me. I used to be a really good speller. I hardly ever missed a word on spelling exams from elementary through high school. That was already going down hill, and now I realized I no longer knew how to write properly. Bummer.

But it gets worse. About a year and a half ago, my parents bought Elijah a box of K'Nex that was meant for children over the age of 5. They figured it would be something fun for us to do with him. It turned into something he would only do with us because the pieces were so small and the designs so elaborate, that he couldn't really make much with them at the age of 3. This then turned into something only Jelani could do with him because I quickly learned that I couldn't design a single one of the planes or cars that were pictured in the instruction manual. I couldn't even figure out how to get the wheels attached to the legos so that they would rotate properly. Jelani laughed at me, and I gave up. I don't like doing things I'm not instantly good at. True story.

Then the other day, Elijah got an early birthday present from Aunt Kristin and Uncle Stew. It was a younger version of K'Nex designed for 3 and up.

We dumped the box out and I began exploring what could be built. In no time at all I had built a helicopter, a race car, and a truck.

Look what I can do.

So, as it turns out, ages 3 and up is more my speed.

I have decided I am incredibly grateful for homeschooling. If not for homeschooling my children, my mind might just continue turning to mush until my level of intelligence (darn spell check popped up again) is comparable to an infant. Now I have the chance to relearn everything I forgot I ever learned. Who knows...maybe by the end of the year I will be brave enough to get out the 5 and up K'Nex again.

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