Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Glorious morning...

...after a gully washing rain last night.  We always know how hard it has rained by how many frogs are in the pool.  Five this morning.  Cute little guys.  Upland chorus frogs.  I learned that in my class last Friday when we caught one, brought it inside, and identified it.

I have learned so much teaching this field biology class.  It's funny how my students and their parents seem to think I know so much.  I do know a bit, but perhaps not as much as they think I do.  What's so great is that teaching is the best way to learn!  Believe me, I know a whole lot more about treefrogs than I did a few weeks ago, and I expect to know a lot more by time we're done. 

I studied biology in college, but it's been a long time.  I've had to dust off a whole lot of stored away knowledge, and I've had to learn many, many new things.  I've had to brush up and I've had to study!  I've been learning from those who are truly experts, and I've been learning from my students.  Quite often, they've made contributions to class discussions, bringing in information that was new to me.  I  love when that happens.

If you are a homeschool mom thinking of teaching a class to a group of students, say in a co-op situation or otherwise, a few words of encouragement:

1.  Love your subject!  This is key.  You won't convey delight to your students if you don't truly care about what you are teaching.  You really can't fake it. 

2.  Work hard.  Read widely. Spend time in the stacks at the library and find the best books.  See what others recommend. Browse on amazon or other websites that sell books related to your subject.  Read book reviews and then buy as many books for yourself as you can afford.  Start building your own library on your subject.  That way when you can share your favorite books with your students, inside of class and out. 

3.  Search for the experts in your community and utilize their expertise - class speakers, field trips, visits to places of interest with people who know them well.  You don't have the be the expert, but if you can befriend the folks who are, your students will benefit. 

That's all for now.  But more is coming...

I've been asked a lot of questions lately about making the transition in homeschooling from the young years through middle school and on to high school year.   Why are people asking me?  Well, because I'm old, for one thing.  Also, because I have six children who have made that transition.  One is still in high school, three in college, and two on to adult life.  Like I said, I'm old.  I'm a grandmother, for heaven's sake!

So, if you'll bear with me for a bit (because what I really want to be doing the rest of this week is cutting out quilt squares), I promise you a post or two before long on making that transition.

For now, I'm getting back outside to enjoy what remains of this glorious day.

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