A few thoughts and articles about homeschooling.
Why Schools are Failing our Boys - and girls! I will say that many of the reasons they give were also our reasons for pulling Esme out of first grade. It was crushing her spirit and creativity. AND, the school thought that was a good thing, because it made her easier to control. It was NOT a good thing, and making her 'easier to control' was not our goal as parents. Teaching her about the world and leading her to use her own brain and make decisions, good judgement and ideas for herself is our goal. We would also like to show her the benefit of hard work and allow her to do the more 'questionable' things that kids her age could do even back when we were kids - that they can't now.. play outside, jump in mud, make and light candles (with supervision), use hand tools (again, with supervision). She is ready for these things with us as her guides - and she will appreciate the idea of being an adult much more if there is fun and learning involved with the adults in her life every day.
Role of Rigor in Kindergarten (Fred Rogers) - a great article about the role of art, music and imagination in childhood..and how we seem to be losing that in the modern public school system for more and more testing and worksheets.
About our own school method. I saw in a book somewhere about the 'retelling method' of learning. The child learns something, and later, they come and tell you, or someone else - just what they learned. They get to reabsorb the information, frame it, see reactions and maybe get extra info from the other person. We've been doing this naturally with Esme - but I am doing it more consciously now. I will have her tell Grandma, or tell Daddy something we did earlier in the day. One, for her to remember it. Two, for her to reframe it and try to get the relevant bits out of it (good for her language development) and Three, to reinforce that it was a valuable thing to learn and that other people will think so, too.
One of the things we have been having her recite is the 'Thirty day hath September' poem - and I've put it up on her wall above her calendar. This is to attempt to put an end or at least a method to the 'how many days until (holiday or date)' question she keeps asking me. Now she knows how to add double-digits. Now she knows how many days are in each month. Go find out. /haha evil supervillain laugh... but it's working - we don't tell her 'I don't know'...or 'it doesn't matter'.. we say if it matters that much, here is how to find out.
//more later the weather is still awful, and we are still stuck at home until at least this afternoon