Tuesday, November 24, 2009

what homeschooling sometimes looks like...

Children - some showered, some still in pj's, with hot chocolate, toast or oatmeal in front of them listen to mama at the breakfast table.
i'm reading from our history book & our subject this morning is the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years - specifically, we're talking about what God told them to build and carry with them in the desert all those years: The Ark of the Covenant & the Tabernacle.
i read with my lively voice, stopping every couple of sentences to ask questions & to confirm comprehension - aiming most of my arrows at my young, distractable 7 year old son. He's used to being questioned & wiggles in his seat, pretending to be wracking his brain for the correct answer each and every time - & just not being able to pull it from the folds of his brain, "ohhhhh, i know this one... i know it, i know it, i know it...."
i practice deep breathing...
i only just read the answer the breath before asking him...
Why isn't anything going in?
His sisters, exasperated (both older and younger) spout off the answers, and he fairly leaps from his chair, "OH YES!! i KNEW that!! i KNEW IT!!!!! i just couldn't REMEMBER!!"
Moving along...
Stopping, starting, asking question, "Why would he do that?" "What did they bring?" "OOh, Look at that, now we know THREE things that were in the Ark! Remember when all they had to eat was Manna? Why would they save Aaron's staff? What were the 10 commandments written on??" We get into lengthy discussions about each object, about their journey through the desert, about God's specific commands regarding the construction of both the Ark and the Tabernacle...
i smell victory -
i have covered my topic beautifully -
They'll never forget this lesson in history & it will come back to them, helping them better understand deep truths about their Father later on in life - the energy in the room is palpable, the volume of our discussion has risen with the interest level & i'm ready to end this lesson on a high note - my voice trembling, i shout out-
One Final Question:
"Charter! What were 3 things that they kept in the Ark of the Covenant!!"
His bum immediately leaves the chair & he begins whacking his head, in pretending concentration, trying to pin down the correct answer...
i watch him in rapt attention, SURE that he won't miss this, after all of my careful focus & attention, not after he's already answered it correctly 10 different times in 10 different ways over the course of the last 1/2 hour... Surely, one more whack on his sweet little blonde head will loosen the answer & it will spill out of that darling mouth...
"I KNOW THIS ONE... i KNOW it mom!!!! i FOR SURE DO!!!!"
He looks so sure, even his sisters hold their breath, sure that the correct answer is about to burst forth...
"C'MON, Charter!" i find myself fairly cheering. Am i rising to my feet?
He suddenly looks so confident.
His face is glowing - here it comes...
"TWO OF EVERY ANIMAL!!" He shouts triumphantly...
Mollen looks at him in disgust.
i sob quietly into my coffee...

7 comments:

Mindy said...

Oh, Paige... This can be so fulfilling and so frustrating, huh? Some days I feel like dancing, and some days I think I will be a homeschooling drop-out...

paige said...

y'know, the beauty in it all is that we're there to catch character flaws before they overwhelm or cripple a child... Nobody cares more than we do if they succeed or fail & if we can work on these little annoyances (that are pretty funny when you think about them - most of the time) - maybe it will do them a huge service later on in life :)

Erin said...

Okay, I hope this isn't insensitive, but I just got a great chuckle from that! I mean a true belly laugh:)

mamazee said...

no. never like that at my home. Never. Although in prayer time, they will only thank God for baby Meow and Uly will only praise God "for makin' ALL FINGS". He is getting it, though, Paige... ask him later on tonight and see if it floats up from his subconscious...
hope you are home and gage is good...

Prvbs31Mama said...

Hugs...lol I love your excited voice when teaching the kids something. I could picture the whole thing!!! hehe
Remember, the spirit lives in him and the spirit will be able to recall the things he has learned and you KNOW he's learned it because he's told you in different ways while you were teaching the lesson...perhaps he has a case of performance anxiety when called on??? I had that bad as a kid. As soon as the teacher asked me a question, ALL thought fled from my brain and I couldn't even speak...sigh...perhaps that's it with Charter??? It WILL get better...hehe I wonder if you wrote down a little quiz at the end of the week, how he'd do??

jessica jespersen said...

haa haa!!!!--j

mamalena said...

HA....his is an affliction that I suffer when playing the piano....(I flat the B no matter what key I'm playing in...haha) So hilarios and yet so frustrating.

Perhaps you could ask him differently...with little hints... like What was Aaron's...What did Moses bring down from the mountain...what fell down from the sky....or any number of such hinting questions...

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