Thursday 16 June 2016

Mentoring and educating the teens -

Week 1

Hi Everyone,

This is the first week of trialling some of the things from 'A Thomas Jefferson Education'.  You can read my review in the previous post.  It was an interesting week.

It took us all some time to adjust to the aspect that I was not going to spoon fed everyone with information, curriculum or time management instructions.  I think it was hardest for me!  I had to step back many times and take a deep breath, while reminding myself their education wasn't all about me.  I have got so used to getting things done.  I spent so much time, when they were little, making sure they were seated and working on the assigned sheets, that as time as transitioned us into the teens, we have just kept on with the known.  Coming from the a school system that did just that, I followed suit... and it worked.  The problem is it doesn't always work (especially with boys as is most prominent in my case).  I thought long and hard about this and decided it was time to encourage them to look at themselves for direction.  How can I expect them to enter the wide world when I haven't equpped them with time management skills and self disciplined work ethics?

For the teens, it was just as hard.  They got all excited, at first but it then become a little more challenging.  My younger teen went online (curriclick was the winner here) and choose his own project.  He worked diligently on it for the first half hour, then....  picked up a book and went reading.  Now this is a good thing because reading has always been the biggest hurdle with him.  This week he has read more than he has ever read, during the day.  And the assignment has progressed!  Maths became a challenge as to how fast he could get it done and timers were set.  As for the older teen she enjoys learning, so all went well except she preferred being told what to do... except for after school hours when she easily finds educational things to set her mind upon. 

We are reading 'A Wrinkle in Time'.  So far we are enjoying this one.  It is very imaginative.  The characters names are a giggle, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which.  Some of the ideas of the universe, good vs evil (darkness) and the world, are all becoming a conversation maker.  Conversation is one thing we are all good at here! 

And, as the concept of reading Archimedes etc. for mathematics interested me, we started reading 'Know About Archimedes in 60 minutes'.  Yes, in 60 minutes sounded do-able to me.  It has been, actually, quite interesting.  We have stopped many times to Google things.  Some of the mathematical concepts sound so much easier in English than in Mathematical dialect.  I wonder why books like these are not encouraged more for history.  So much of history is taken up with wars of which I have become tired of reading curriculum after curriculum endorsing the same things.  I have often questioned why inventions rarely make it into great curriculum resources.  Here we have it... you just have to know where to look.  It seems like you go directly to the source and read the classics.  This book is definitely worth reading to your teens.  We all got a good laugh out of the wars and men being shaken from boats.  Nothing like the way we fight todays wars!  Added to this is the mathematical concepts that enabled such things, and the rest of Archimedes great discoveries.  Probably to  biggest eye opener was how long ago these things were discovered, and the great minds that came long before any concept I or the teens had. 

In conclusion, it's been a great week.  One of which I learned to step aside and mentor as well as teach.  It is one thing to learn to teach.  It is another thing to let the children learn, and mentor them to do such a thing as become educated.  At no time did I just walk away.  I was there to teach when needed, to mentor the act of learning, and encourage every step of the way, all while we enjoyed each others company.  Let's see how next week goes! 

Happy reading

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