Friday, March 2, 2012

Like, Dislike, Neutral - How I See the Subjects

So, while lurking at Secular Homeschool today, I was inspired to write about how I feel about each subject we teach. I thought about doing it as a series of posts, one for each subject, but decided that I could curtail my thoughts and fit them all into one post.

I thought I'd start with my least favorite subject. I hate Math. I really, really hate Math. It is the bane of my existence. No, it's not because I struggle with it or don't understand it. The only thing about Math that I have ever struggled to understand is how anyone could enjoy it. Math was always an easy subject for me. I don't like it because I find it dull & boring.
Dea seems to have mood swings in regards to Math. She hates it, fights about doing it, and complains daily about it. Then, she decides to start creating her own Math dictionary, writing her own Math problems for fun, and doing a second Math program, just for kicks. Then, she's back to despising it. This makes it a rather miserable subject to cover with her.
Jay loves Math. With him, my biggest problem is finding a way to make all the Math programs work together, without being overload. He requested more story problems next year, so we're getting books of just story problems to add to his Math next year. He loves measurement, which is part of the reason we added the Key to series for Measurement & Metric Measurement. He's doing both Fractions and Decimals & Percents in 3rd because he wants to do both in one year. He can hardly wait for the Life of Fred Fractions and Decimals & Percents books to get here. He adds in playing Math games and spending time on Khan Academy whenever he can. I get to be the one to try to make all of that work together and not be overkill.

English/Language Arts: (reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary)
This is a subject I love. I've always been an avid reader, am a published poet, and am working on several books I hope to one day publish. So, to say I have an appreciation for this subject is a bit of an understatement. Plus, this is one subject that neither kids dislikes too much. Yes, Jay has Dyslexia & Dea struggles with Writing. However, both make steady improvement in their weaker areas, which really aren't that weak anyway. Both kids are avid & strong readers, which also helps make this an enjoyable subject to cover.

This was always one of my favorite subjects when I was young. I approach this subject the way I would want it done with me. Science should not be all dry textbooks & workbooks. There should be experimentation (planning & carrying them out), use of the Scientific Method, hands-on work, demonstrations, and projects, in addition to written work & reading text. Science should not be a boring subject. So we make sure it's not. Luckily, both kids also love Science, and this makes it extra fun to do.

Social Studies: (History, Geography, and Cultural Studies)
This is another area I really love, and so do both kids. We take a cultural, daily life perspective, instead of the war-based, building good little patriots one the schools like to use. This area is a lot of fun for us. It's another one that involves a lot of hands-on work, projects, and discovery.

Foreign Languages:
When I was in school, I learned some ASL and took years of Spanish (6-7 years) & French (2 years). There were other languages I wanted to learn, as well, but didn't have the option to do so. With the kids learning languages, I get to refresh & expand the ones I know & learn new ones. If they're learning a language I don't care to learn, we can use a method that doesn't require me to have knowledge of it. If it's a language I want to learn or learn more of, I can do their program along with them.

As an artistic person, this one is fun for me. The kids enjoy it, which makes my life easier. I would hate to have to force Art on my kids. I would, though, because I feel that education should be well-rounded, and education without The Arts is lacking in cultural importance.

My history with Music is a bit odd. I have been singing since I could talk. I always wanted to learn an instrument, but never found the right one, until recently. My husband is a guitar player, so Music is important to him, as well. Both kids tried guitar, but it wasn't right for either of them. This year, Jay is getting a drum set (we've always known he'd eventually play drums), and Dea is getting a flute (this one is a bit surprising, I admit). Jay is continuing with Native American flute, too. The kids both enjoy singing, but Dea is more likely to continue with it. We try to support them in their instrumental choices, because we know how important it is to have the right instrument, if you're going to play. Music theory is covered by my hubby & curriculum, because my eyes glaze right over when it comes to Music Theory & reading music.

This is one I find very important and try to find ways to cover it that the kids will enjoy. Making it enjoyable to the kids can be a bit of a challenge. There are fun Logic books & workbooks for lower grades, but then you get to just workbooks of analogies. My daughter hates analogies. She finds them boring. So, I have to try to get her to do boring work, without the major fights. Basically, my feeling on this subject are pretty much neutral. I neither like nor dislike it. I do my best to get the kids to appreciate it & understand its relevance, if not actually enjoy it.

Computer Programming:
This is one the kids chose. I think it's great that they want to learn it, and I will support them in it. I think it's important that they learn to type and use certain programs, but learning programming is totally optional. I have to admit, I have been enjoying doing Logo with them. I'm not sure if I'll continue working with them on programming when they move to other programming languages, though.

Well, that pretty much sums up my feeling & general rambling thoughts about each subject/subject area that we currently cover in out homschool.