What is School For?

Seriously. What is school for? Many of you already know.

There are so many great teachers out there who are making a big difference, but unfortunately there are many administrators and teachers who don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing teachers in the public school system. But when everyone is evaluated by test scores, school isn’t what it should be. Continue reading “What is School For?”

Why Math Instruction is Unnecessary.

Don’t let the title of this post put you out, it definitely has it’s shock value. Math is everywhere around us and we should get a good handle on it… but that’s why what John Bennett says makes so much sense.

John is a teacher of math and a homeschooling parent who offers a radical-sounding proposal: that we cease to require math instruction in middle and high school. He came to this point of view over a number of years, as he attempted (and failed) to convince students that the math they were learning was beautiful, useful, or an imperative component of their future prosperity. When he stopped trying to connect math with students and simple tried to connect with the students themselves, he made a profound discovery – kids are suffering from “math anxiety.” If the goal of math is to teach us deductive and inductive reasoning, might games and puzzles be equally effective in developing kids’ reasoning skills – and allow them to fulfill their life missions? “We want to reawaken analytical and critical thinking schools that have been anesthetized by the standard curriculum,” says John.

Continue reading “Why Math Instruction is Unnecessary.”

Keep Homeschool Super Simple.

Painting

How can homeschool be super simple? Help your children learn while living. There are many variations of how families implement homeschool. From unschooling, to what looks just like tradtional school with textbooks and tests. Unschooling isn’t just letting your children have unfettered reign of all things. It’s not ignoring them or letting them do whatever they want. It’s finding out their passions and facilitating your child’s pursuit of them. When someone is interested in something, they learn. You’ve got to try real hard to stop them. That’s the core of unschooling. Do the things you love. Live your life. As we homeschool, we should be prepared to make the most of every opportunity to help our children learn and explore their passions. The lessons with the greatest impact are those we learned through living, not from a book or a video. It is no different with children. That is the power of unschooling. There is one big concept though, we have to be intentional. Continue reading “Keep Homeschool Super Simple.”

Field Trip of Dreams.

Lady Washington under sail.

Being able to actually sail on a tall ship has been a dream of mine for years. So, when my son had the opportunity to go on a field trip with our homeschool group on the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, we jumped at the opportunity. It was so much fun to sail with the crew. One of the biggest surprises was how quiet it was once we were only powered by the wind. It was amazing. We put together a little video of our time on the ship. If you get the chance to go on one of these, do it. It is worth it.

For more info on the Lady Washington or the Hawaiian Chieftain visit the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. CasitaKeepers

Math on the Water, a Fire in the Sky.

Opti Sailing

Tacking Sailboats - Photo Credit: lexicide.comOK, I’m guilty. I’ve been rocking out to epic 70’s rock-n-roll while my son sails an Optimist sail boat with the junior yacht club. When they were done, one of my boys who goes to a traditional public school comes in and says, “I get line segments and angles now!” I admit, I got a little giddy. This comes from my boy who goes to the public school. For a week now, he had been frustrated when trying to do his math work. He does have good teachers at his school, but how in the world are they going to get to help each of the 30 students in the class. It’s crazy to think they will be able to give enough help to each student. Continue reading “Math on the Water, a Fire in the Sky.”