Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Teaching is in my blood!

It must be. 'Cause I love it.

Yesterday, I started the school schedule with my younger siblings. This year, I've been allowed/promoted/asked/requested/permitted to take over an entire subject! The fact that I love the subject may have something to do with my eagerness.


I'm teaching it Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Under Mom's instructions, I'm using a unit-study style approach, to incorporate in all three of my youngest siblings. For this month, we're studying the Pioneers.

Time lines, tracking skills, map-making, the Pony Express, famous traders, trappers, and other pioneers, clothing styles, horse breeds, the Lewis and Clark expedition, Indian tribes of the Great Plains ... you name it. So many subcategories! So much we could study. We also have planned a library outing on Friday, where I'll drill my siblings in their research skills as they decided what subcategories they want to dive into.

Every day after lunch, we gather around the table and spread out the art supplies. Justin, Tiffany, and Lezley are all creating "Lap Books" - manila folders filled with fold-outs, pockets, maps, and other creations to help cement into their minds what they are learning.

Of course, teaching isn't all a bed of roses. There are some thorns in there under the red petals. Siblings aren't always eager to learn. And they don't always feel like being creative and studious.

And I don't always feel properly prepared to teach. Lesson planning takes time. I'm still learning to plan ahead. I'm also learning that creating your own curriculum means a LOT of research and reading. I'm glad we're going to the library on Friday.

But all in all, I'm glad for this experience. I've taught before, but never have I had the lesson planning for a whole year relying a great deal on me. The challenge stimulates me...and also intimidates me ... a little.

I'm sure I'll learn a lot about what not to do. It's good I can learn how to teach long-term while having an experienced teacher like Mom at my side, instead of making all those mistakes by myself some day.

After all: I cook, bake, do laundry, garden, clean, sew, organize, schedule, and do all sorts of things here, to prepare myself for running a house some day. (Besides, they come in mighty handy right now!) My logic in doing such things - besides the fact that they help my family - is that I want to practice, and get as many mistakes out of the way as possible right now, while it doesn't matter so much.

If I burn a supper (not that it happens very often!), Mom is around to whip up a substitute in a matter of a few professional minutes. If I break the toilet while trying to clean it, Dad is around to fix things. If I sew a skirt that doesn't fit, my sister is always around to borrow from. :)

So I'm free to experiment with life more. Ah, the freedom of living under my father's roof!

...And the joys of teaching, with Mom by my side!

I'm so thankful I have younger siblings to "practice" on - and that Mom is letting me practice. I realize that not every girl has that advantage.

I apologize if I've sounded boring and scatter-brained in this post. I have plans rolling around in my mind. That's one thing I still haven't learned; how to multitask well. (The word "well" being the key word.)

Any suggestions? I'm off to accomplish more from the "To Do" list!

...One thing at a time, of course.


Alethea Jordan said...

Multitask? What's that? I can't do it either. I'm in the same boat. But this sounds really good for you!

Sarah said...

It certainly sounds like you are enjoying yourself, Amber! What a wonderful experience to be able to teach your younger siblings. I am sure that the time that you spend with them will be special and many memories will be made! :)