Friday, May 4, 2007

Back and Forth

It seems for everything I do right in our homeschooling I do something else that I'll later view as a mistake. Like the way I kept trying to go back to Singapore Math when it was Math Mammoth that Catherine enjoyed. Understand that I don't think that's a bad thing at all. I value the mistakes and they keep me on my toes. They just happen a lot. And I think I found another one.

We've been studying cells and it's been pretty in depth for a grade 3 kid. Lots of reading, lots of technical terms we were both unfamiliar with. I was fine with doing this because Catherine has an interest in cells.

Last night I got to thinking. What was my point in doing this with Catherine? Did I really expect her, at 8, to be able to understand and communicate to others the details of cell structure and functions? No, what I really wanted, and as I told my husband when he wondered if I wasn't packing too much information in, was for Catherine to have a familiarity with the subject. Something to touch on down the road when she comes back to it. Okay. Good. So exactly why was I packing in all that extra information?

I think I've been getting passion and interest mixed up. What Catherine has is an interest in cells. I've been dealing with that as if it were a passion. An interest is a calm little campfire compared to a passion's overwhelming bonfire. A campfire needs a piece of firewood every once in awhile. A bonfire needs whole logs. I'd been chopping down trees and passing them to Catherine.

It's tempting though. It's tempting to try and turn an interest into a passion and so I'll push a lot of information (does an 8 year old really need to know the pieces that make up riboomes?). Generally not successful though. Try throwing a huge log meant for a bonfire on a campfire and all you get is a smothered fire.

We'll keep going with cells but I'll have a bit of a different attitude. I'll be summarizing long reads and skipping some of the detail. She doesn't need to know it all right now and that's not what she wants anyway.

1 comment:

unschooler said...

I did this last year...also grade 3...using a 5th grade textbook I found online. My 10 yo was interested when we started but after a few days of vocab like vacuole and cytoplasm, his interest was turned into revulsion.