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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Homeschooling?

I have been told that I have the gift of teaching, but I have also been told that my ADD may be too great to actually be a conventional teacher. Mind you, I have been an education major for almost 4 years now (I am nowhere near getting my BA or credentials though). I f I am to ADD to teach in a public classroom, would I be able, with the help of other homeschooling parents, to home school my own children? I plan on completing my degree, not sure if I will go through the credentialing process, but I will have the general knowledge needed to teach elementary aged students. I can't really think of a career in which I could use a general education degree, but I know that I want to obtain my BA that I have been working towards for over 6 years now. I have all these ideas about how I would teach unconventionally and still have my students meet grade level standards (although the CA state "standards" are not even at grade level these days, the high school exit exam for example is based on something like 7th grade level knowledge). One example of unconventional learning would be to set up a classroom government when teaching 5th grade history (of course you would need a good sized class), I attempted to student lead this in my 5th grade classroom (surprisingly my teacher allowed me to), but because of my disorganization (come on I was only a 5th grader) and lack of time (we only had an hour per day in this class) it did not get the point across successfully. Another would be to use the game Civilization as a teaching tool for teaching World Civ (I am actually working on a lesson plan for implementing this on the college level for my World Civ instructor this semester). I really like the idea of using the World Wide Web as a virtual assistant in the "classroom" - kids spend 44 hours a week doing "media multi-tasking" (surfing the web, watching tv, playing video games, and listening to music) so they are on it anyway, might as well give them something fun and purposeful to do with it. My generation was one of the first to grow up with home computers (our first was an old Mac, back when they were still reffered to as "Apples," that the school disctric let their teachers (like my mom) take home for the summer so they could learn how to use them. I think I was in 1st or 2nd grade. I remember the only thing it had on it was Print Shop Delux :). My neighbor, who had a PC, made DOS based catsle RPGs. The first computer games I played were Oregon Trail and SimAnt. Both were educational at heart. In Jr. High, the World Wide Web came into our home (after much pleading with my parents). I was very into IMing. While it was a bit of a distraction, I think my generation has benifited from having such an instant link to people and information, but it has also harmed us. Cyber crime is prevolent, which was not really something that our parents worried about when they first heard the delightful sounds of "You got mail" chiming from our computers every few minutes, at the time their biggest concern was that we were tying up the only phone line. However, many groups have been devoted to keeping children safe on the web today and keeping it for what it is intended for, gaining knowledge and staying in touch. Besides, as an adult who grew up as the Internet did, I know what dangers lie lurking in cyberspace and I am better equipped to keep my kids away from them then my parents were when I was learning how to use the computer at a much faster rate then they were (as kids often do). As I get older and technology advances, I know I will soon be in the place my parents were with new wonders and dangers out there waiting for my kids. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with everything. Wow, I really got off on a tangent there. I guess the main point I was trying to get across is that I am not sure where my future will take me, but I really feel like teaching is in it somewhere, no matter if it is conventional or not. I'd like to hear from you homeschooling parents out there. How much of a role does the net play or will it eventually play in your homeschool program?

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