I wanted to make learning as exciting for Kitt as I find it, so we worked on ways to give our homeschool curriculum some zest. We had a family meeting and decided to work out our goals and schedule together. First, we needed some ground rules.
In our homeschool, we don’t have walls. We don’t have hours. Heck, we threw the schedule out the door, and decided to keep our days fluid (within limits, of course). Kitt agreed to stop rejecting ‘outside school’ education, and let me teach her as we stumble across new opportunities. We still have to meet our curriculum goals, but we made them more flexible.
Now, Kitt loves World of Warcraft. She also enjoys role-playing with her online friends. To do this, she must look up lore, facts, and data to make up backstories and stay in character. As of now, she does all of this grudgingly, even though it’s a topic very dear to her heart. But she skims the information, and often misses huge details in her desire to ‘get it over with’. Her friends catch her on it, which frustrates her, but she eventually goes back and does more research.
During our discussion, Kitt asked to use her characters in our Language Arts projects, so I gave her the green light. She was thrilled that I would allow her to use WoW fan-fiction with her character as her creative writing assignment. (Her teacher told her no, which I understand due to plagiarism. I know far more WoW lore than Kitt, so she won’t be able to cheat with me.) So far, she has shown renewed interest in putting greater effort into her character development and research. She has even started throwing out story ideas without prompting, and drawing character sheets with their characteristics and personalities.
Score one for mom!
Next, we allowed her to negotiate a later bedtime (she had to debate us on it with her reasoning vs ours, which was fun). We don’t have a set time to start in the morning, unless we have an appointment, so she can sleep in if she wants. She has a set number of hours to play her game, but she must get her schoolwork done first. If she starts late, it is her consequence if we don’t finish in time for her to meet with her friends. This gives her a sense of control, and helps her work on accountability and responsibility. So far, she’s met her goals on time every night.
Last, we decided to go to the library to browse the books and find other topics that interest her. Together, we found a way to meet the core curriculum standards using topics we both enjoy. After perusing the shelves, we decided to start with Ancient Greece, which is one of my favorite topics. This is part of her curriculum anyway, so it all works out.
Now, to find ALL THE THINGS to teach her without drowning her in my excitement!