A few months ago I wrote about my fears and reasons for starting to home educate my girls. Now, six months down the line I am so glad I am doing it: most of all because I now have the time to teach them the things they want to know. What better way to inspire a lifelong curiosity and thirst for learning than that?
My eyes have been opened to the opportunities for education that present themselves every day. I am now alert and ready to investigate the answers with them. Take Wednesday for example. We were in town and I had to get a permit from the Fire Station for the health centre. Before, I would have dreaded taking the girls along to do this waiting-in-a-queue job. The girls would have been wriggling and climbing up the walls of the Fire Station. Not this time. This time we looked at the ambulance that was parked in the entrance while we waited. I took the chance to explain what the Firemen do and the kind of emergencies they attend. Once I had the permit I needed we had a peek through the railings at the back and spotted the bunk beds and uniforms hanging up and talked about there being Firemen on duty day and night. We found the phone number we would have to dial if there were a fire and examined the fire extinguishers on display in the shop. The girls were fascinated.
Next my five year old asked why there were so many posters of men and women around the town. I spent the twenty minute walk to ballet class explaining about the upcoming Mayor elections in Santo Domingo. Not entirely sure they had understood we then had a Barbie Mayor election the next day during “homeschool”. They both made posters for their candidates (design and writing), made speeches about what they were going to do for Barbie town, (English and Spanish vocab), made voting papers, all the Barbies voted and then we counted the votes up to see who had won (maths). My five year old then built a fabulous play park with her Barbie who was voted as Mayor, and my three year old an orphanage (she was deputy Mayor). We all loved it and learned loads.
Today we learnt while making chocolates in molds. We read instructions, weighed out ingredients, counted down from thirty with the microwave a few times and talked about melting and solidifying. It is brilliant. And best of all they have plenty of time left over to simply play with the village children. Time they did not have when attending school.
I wonder what the next topic will be?