At about the same time I started this blog last year, we started homeschooling our 4-year old. I, initially, would like to share how homeschooling is earth-friendly; but that, I decided, is easy enough for everyone to deduce. So, let me digress a bit from what is "green" to highlight the other good things we found in homeschooling. Truth is, it being "earth-friendly" was a minor consideration for us. Value and character formation, especially in this precarious stage, were our foremost concerns.
I also planned to keep an online journal of our experiences; but we're kept busy enough lesson planning and teaching (among other regular tasks) that our www.homeschoolingmomanddad.com blogsite didn't make it to the world wide web. Here then are two of my supposed posts that I'd share to parents out there considering homeschooling as an option.
This is home schooling and we are taking it as a journey to a new land. Others before us have taken this similar journey; many have made it; some may have not. Others are taking this similar journey same time as we are now; will they make it; will we make it?
Discoveries will be many and as with most discoveries, they are expected to surprise us.
May 11 discovery did surprise me --- it pleasantly did:
HOMESCHOOLING IS A BARGAIN
The lesson for the day is about the numbers 1 to 5. In the home school curriculum, learning starts with the graspable, the experiential, or the concrete. It’s where the knowledge to be had is applied in real life. Most schools begin teaching the abstract, the principles, and the theories.
I sanitized 15 one peso coins for our activity. I told my daughter it’s a game of “let’s pretend.” Oh, but she loves these games.
First round, she’ll have the coins; she’ll be the shopper; and I will be the shopkeeper. I have with me 4 stuffed toys: a bear, a duck, a dog and a monkey. I arbitrarily assigned prices to each one. The bear is P4.00, the duck is P3.00, the dog is P5.00, and the monkey is P3.00. One by one, she purchased the toys with glee and excitement. Every purchase a victory, a conquest for her. She’s having fun! I’m having fun as well---I never expected at age 38, I’ll enjoy “let’s pretend.” She did count the coins correctly all throughout, just for the record.
In the second round, we changed roles, she sold, and I bought. All of a sudden, there is super inflation---the stuffed duck costs P100.00! Will she grow up into a wealthy, shrewd businesswoman? I pray not. Through many “why Dads,” I convinced her to have prices either P1.00, P2.00, P3.00, P4.00, or P5.00 only. Another good round: I got my toy hoard; and she learned to count, even correcting me if I paid her less or more than what she’s asking for.
In the third round, she’s again the shopper. It wasn’t part of her lesson for the day, but I got curious: if I set the total cost over P15.00 (the total value of the coins we have), how would she decide? Guess, which she gave up not to buy?
Nothing. She still bought everything. How?
“Sir, my sister and I will be going to Disneyland and we need a lot of money. Can I buy the doggie for P1.00?” How can I say no, though it was originally P5.00? Yup, she was able to buy everything, with some spare.
We played thousands of rounds thereafter, so it seems. I thought kids bore easily, and they have short attention span. I was the one who wanted to quit. We had to change wares, of course, to keep interests fresh: her baby powder, my celphone charger, her mom’s lip balm, and many other items within eyesight all made it to the shelf.
There’s this particular round which made me real proud, summer-sunny inside, and more convinced we’re doing it right, taking this home schooling journey.
ALL FOR ONE
My 4-year old daughter was the “let’s pretend shopper,” and I was the “let’s pretend shopkeeper.”
“Dad, you can have all the money left, and all these, too,” pointing to all her previous purchases. “I just really love that Teddy!”
Taken by surprise was I; it took a few seconds for me to realize that she has just shown -- has learned, appreciated, and applied -- the lesson from the Parable of the Pearl.
I was witness to a miracle--- it, indeed, felt that way to a parent.
I was teaching her this world’s mathematics; and she’s taught me or reminded me of God’s mathematics: the dearest, most precious, most loved can be traded with no less than everything one has.
I’ll trade many money-earning work hours for this moment. Homeschooling is a bargain well made.
OTHER GREEN PARENTING POSTS:
WORD FROM THE SPONSOR
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
The Parable of the Net
"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
"Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked.
"Yes," they replied.
He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."