From Singleton to Many, Lessons Learned

As you, my lovely readers know, I am a mother (and teacher) of one.   I wouldn't treade it for the world, but sometimes it would be lovely to have a group you know?  Like when you are using a curriculum that calls for a group of students, or when you just need an extra hand or ...  (sometimes the solution is to use the cat as an extra body).  But sometimes... more than one child would be great.  It teaches things like taking turns, spurs on creative thinking, gives you another person to bounce ideas off on and so forth.

Since I can't change my son's lot in life (or mine), my solution has been to engage in my homeschool co-op classes that are held spring and fall.

I have to admit that it has been a work in progress.

My first co-op class I thought I would teach something that my lad was interested in.
I made two assumptions
1. my lad would transition well to me teaching a group (not just him)
2. similar aged children would learn the same

Let's just say that first class was a mix a lot of FUN and a lot of FRUSTRATION, and a decision to not have my son in a class I was teaching until he was old enough to understand the difference between how we teach at home ... scattered and experiential and class..more organized, with everyone being noticed. and given a chance to participate.

Lesson ONE: Teaching one child is COMPLETELY different than teaching a bunch of children, even if they are approximately the same age. 

Over the years, adjustments were made on both our parts and he is able to join in my class WHEN he wants to.  Sometimes he does, other times.. not so much, depends on what is available and what I am teaching. 

Lesson Two: Politeness matters. I helped in one class where I was asked to please bring in some bunnies to be models for their photography lessons.   It was an older class where it was VERY apparent which students wanted to be there and which ones did not (and were pleased to let us know this as well).   This aspect of teaching the many I don't like and made a point of teaching my lad that even if you don't like the class, you be polite to the person teaching as they are putting the effort into helping you learn something. Along with Lesson Three: That you can get something out of a class that you don't want to be in if you adjust your attitude.   Learning something you aren't interested in, just might be what you need to learn, to spark an interest, to spur on new thoughts, you never EVER know where learning new information might take you.

Lesson Four: Some classes are just challenging.   Teaching archaeology to a bunch of talkative 6-8 year olds is challenging... I had planned worksheets and question answer times and it was just beyond these children, so one adapts and makes it very hands on with reinforcing the learning as one goes.

Lesson Five: Some classes are just plain fun!   Seriously.  :)   Using regular tempera paint as finger paint and learning to do circles and shading, and experimenting with all the different ways you can use your hands and objects to do art.  :)   This art class was great, teaching youth about different artists and art forms and giving them a challenge to recreate it in their own way.

As I sit here typing I realize something... teaching the many has taught ME as much as teaching my singleton.  How children are different, how adjustments need to be made,and  how it's just as hard to teach many as it can be teach one.  

But boy oh boy...sometimes it's just a hoot!   :)

Many Ways to Homeschool Many

The Excellent Wife - A Wife's Understanding of Sin

I've been going through The Excellent Wife by Martha Pearce, you can find the rest of the series here.
This week we are on Chapter Three: A Wife's Understanding of Sin.

In this chapter we learn about God's provision of sin and Four Characteristics of it. 

1. Sin is universal.  No one is exempt.  Romans 3:23

2. Sin may be open and obvious to others. Galatians 5: 19-21

3. Sin cannot be hidden from God. 1 Samuel 16:7; Hebrews 4:13

4. Sin justly penalized.  Romans 6:23; Isaiah 53:11

 If we trust the Lord God for our salvation, our sin is covered.   We've repented, our sin is cleansed and removed from us  Even horrible sins of the past.   The sins of the present will continue to need to be dwelt with.

If we have a long-standing sin we must be diligent about putting off the old self and putting on the new.  Making choices to change what we do and how we respond.   Changes thoughts, actions, patterns etc by making CHOICES that fit with the new nature we are putting on.

Our goal as believers is to be godly.  To show God in the things that we say, do or even think.   God is the image that we seek after, the image that we want to emulate.  So understand that sin is NOT being godly.  Turn from it.  Seek after God and his ways. 

Confess.  Repent.   Seek.   Do.  That's the calling up on us.  

This chapter seemed very straight-forward to me.  No hidden mysteries.  Just a call to recognize that if we want to be an excellent wife to our spouses, it really starts with having faith, and living according to the higher calling God has placed on our lives.   Seeking him, seeking to be kind, seeking to be more than what we sometimes want to be.

Review: The Kid from Diamond Street

WOW!   Did you know there used to be professional FEMALE ball teams?   And that one of those teams travelled to Japan?  Mostly playing against male teams and doing well?!!?!

Can you imagine being 10 years old and playing professional minor league baseball?

That is what Edith Houghton did... using a safety pin to tighten her cap, and using a knife to make holes in her belt to hold her pants up. :)

She was by all accounts a wonderful player, playing first for the Bobbies and then for other teams, she became the first woman scout.

This neat book "The Kid from Diamond Street" tells Edith's story from her first job through to her trip to Japan, playing baseball.   The Philadelphia Bobbies were so named because all the players wore their hair cut in a bob.

This is an informative and interesting book.   I had never thought there would be professional minor league baseball teams, much less one that would have been invited to Japan.   Add to that a 10 year playing on the team?   WOW!

The illustrations by Steven Salerno bring the story to life, you can just see Edith running after that ball with full determination.  The funny fit of her uniform, baseball practice on an ocean line and the fun they had in Japan.   Edith said "We were knocking balls out to sea."

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learning about the determination of a young lady playing a game that she absolutely loved.   She was by all accounts very good at her job.   She played a rough, and tough game, the kind of game you would expect a girl to play when she grew up playing ball with a bunch of boys.  

I would whole heartedly recommend this book.. particularly if you have girls that are sports oriented.   Showing them just what a determined girl can do.   Playing against the boys, becoming a scout when women just didn't DO that kind of thing, and travelling to Japan when you are 13 years old.   Big stuff!  Important for girls to see and understand.  But then's good for boys too you know... to let them see the girls are ALL THAT as well.  :)  

Get it for your children.  Read it with them.  Enjoy a good book.

  I found this neat video on YouTube about Edith Houghton.

Author: Audrey Vernick
Illustrator: Steven Salerno
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age: 4-7 years old
9.25 x 10.5
40 pages