Finding other ways to learn . . .

August 24, 2007

Asalaam ‘Alaikum Everyone:

Alhumdulilah, things are winding down a bit for my friend (see previous post) and things are improving, insha’Allah. We’ve had to contact the State to intervene on our behalf because of the many problems we have been having – but things are looking up.

Anyway – we have been trying to find our way through the K12 program. Most of what I see right now is really not that bad. Some of it we really like. Of course, school is not officially in until Monday – so perhaps my impression will change a bit when under deadline pressures! My daughter’s favorite courses are Language Arts, Phonics, Science, History and Art. The only class she is not “in love with” is Math. Perhaps that will change in our next lesson – perhaps it was just first day jitters. I know she loved Saxon Math and always begged for more. If it’s not something she loves – then I guess it must be the way they approach the topic, but time will only tell.

History was actually somewhat fun in the beginning. However, making their objectives in such a short time can be a bit much. Perhaps it is because we haven’t really learned a regimented History course before – we just learned about some of the different countries, their cultures, etc. Also, I have recently been told that what we were struggling with was actually covered in Kindergarten. Well, being somewhat resourceful – I found my way around it.

While studying our first lesson in History – your child is supposed to learn about continents and oceans. Since my daughter has not really ever studied anything that she HAD to remember names of things – this was a first – and perhaps this type of learning takes time. The lesson was nice because they told your child about the different continents and they got to learn about animals that are specific to certain continents. This really helped my daughter remember the names of the continents – making it interesting to her. However, after making this part fun – they quickly mentioned oceans – the names of the oceans and then you jumped right to the assessment to see what they had learned.

My daughter remembered the continents. However, when covering the ocean part of the assessment (you just ask a few questions) she couldn’t even remember the word “ocean”. For some reason she was able to remember the Indian Ocean but kept calling it Indian Water. I got stressed and worried – wrote an email to the teacher and then left the lesson.

Knowing me – I can’t call it quits (there must always be an interesting way to approach these lessons available somewhere!) so I searched online (it actually only took a few minutes!) and found a nice website with a game that teaches your child the names of the continents and oceans. How perfect!

After being all stressed out (inside – I didn’t make it evident to her) I sat down with her and played the game. After a few minutes she complained that I was playing the game and not her – she wanted me to leave! She played for 15 minutes. After that amount of time – we then looked at the assessment page. To my astonishment – she not only remembered “ocean” but she remembered all of the ocean names!

I guess, of all things, I really appreciate that – while all of us are not able to use our own curriculum – and are not able to work at our own pace because of this (even though we would like to) – the one thing I like about teaching my children at home – with K12 – is that I can at least see where there is a problem and search for a solution.

In school

those who don’t keep up

get lost in the crowd.

At home, if they get lost

we keep pulling out different maps

until we find our way

. . . together.

Asalaam ‘Alaikum,
Sumayyah Umm SAA

PS: I guess I should mention the game site for learning continents and oceans. Here is the link:

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/World_Continents.htm

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One Response to “ Finding other ways to learn . . . ”

  1. Laura on August 26, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Assalamu Alaikum sister,

    I’m not sure how old your children are or where you live but one thing that you should know is not to over-stress yourself while homeschooling. One of the beauties of homeschooling your children is the fact that you can work at THEIR pace and not the school’s pace. I can guarantee you that in a class of 25, maybe only two students would be able to master the continents and oceans on one day…and that’s a generous estimate (I was a teacher for almost 10 years).

    What curriculum are you using?

    You can find me on the muslimhomeschool group at yahoo or shoot me an email.

    Fi aman Allah

    Laura

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