One of the things I enjoy about Caroline is the fact that she is so imaginative and creative. She has a rich imagination that far exceeds anything I ever had as a child. In the Strong-willed Child Or Dreamer? book, I am a doer and she is a dreamer.
One of the things that makes life challenging for me is the fact that she is so imaginative and creative. I still have not completely grasped how I am going to effectively homeschool her, but we’ll take one day at a time.
But here is an example of how a dreamer does math:
No, she wasn’t confused at all. She knew exactly what she was doing and had no problem with the concepts on the page.
So why all the lines? I didn’t write it down verbatim, but the explanation went something like this:
“The dragonflies have to stop and see the ants because they are going to have a picnic with them and need to remember what to bring. And they also need see the grasshoppers because they haven’t seen them in a long time. And now they can go to the other bugs.”
And so on for each and every match she made.
I remember having some dreamers in my classroom when I was a teacher, but I didn’t fully appreciate what it would be like to parent and educate one.
So we take it one day at a time. As long as she grasps the concepts, that’s really all that matters. At this point, I have to completely throw out the window my preconceived notions of how long something will take because I had no idea a brief math page would become a novel as well.
I love that kind of imagination!
Unschooling might be the ticket for her.
The Sparkling Martins blog is a beautiful look at an unschooling family in action and this week’s post is about learning math.
I “homeschooled” (my home, not hers) a little dreamer for six months or so last year. It was her kindergarten year, and I was helping her mommy get back on her feet. I don’t have a dreamer (that I know of–I suppose O. is only 2 and it’s hard to tell), but it was absolutely fascinating. I still think she’s probably the brightest student I ever had, though she’d be totally unappreciated at the school down the road that values standardized tests!
I love it when we get a glimpse of what they are thinking that like…
Hope – Thank you for the suggestion. I’ve bookmarked their site to check out a bit more. I am starting to wonder more and more about the whole unschooling thing and it is just a complete and total paradigm shift for me in so many ways. And in other ways it sounds so freeing. Since we only have one child, it makes it seem much more do-able but still so different from what I might have expected. At the same time, one thing I strongly disliked about teaching in the classroom was the complete lack of freedom so perhaps I’ve always been an unschooler and just never really knew it!
Brandy – Yes, Caroline is bright. David jokes often that she is going to be an event planner when she grows up because she comes up with the most elaborate schemes and ideas and plans them down to the details. She also has a very strong voice that is deeper and really carries. I don’t know what that means for her future, but I’ve wondered why God gave her that as well.
Re: schooling and standardized tests… Every time I think about how Caroline would fare in a regular classroom setting and try to picture it unfolding in my mind… I think she would have a very difficult time. Her exuberance and dreamer-ness would be so contrary to a classroom setting. I had always had in the back of my mind that I would send her to a classical Christian school if we couldn’t homeschool. I think she would be miserable with that much structure. Only time will tell, but I’m really going to have to start scouring the internet for blogs and websites of other parents who are homeschooling dreamers for ideas and inspiration. And pray. A lot. 🙂
My son is a dreamer too. All of those montessori inspired preschool activities I see on the web are great, but my son won’t do anything like that unless I invent stories for them. I can’t just ask him to count out blocks, but I have to pretend each block is a piece of cheese and we’re feeding it to imaginary mice, etc, etc. It’s hard sometimes to deal with his creativity but I know it will be such an asset later in life and its also easy to motivate him with a compelling narrative.
Right now my tenative plan is to unschool with a safety net. By this I mean I would allow him to follow his interests and go at his own pace as long as he doesn’t fall more than a grade level behind in core subjects (math, reading). Fortunately I have a strong math background and love math myself so I don’t think I’ll have too much of a problem using games and fun activities to teach that subject during the elementary years.
Have you looked into Tell Me a Story cards from eeBoo? My son loves these!
Ha! This was me in school too. Only I would rush through the matching, then look at the patterns of the lines, and make additional lines and patterns until it was all symmetrical.