I have this notion that homeschooling is about filling your mind up with really great things. It’s not about how many text books you complete or which curriculum you are using. There are many ways to fill your mind, as long as you choose to fill it with great things.
I am having a hard time explaining this to my girls. This stage of “in between” is a tough one. They are in between childhood and adulthood and there is no road map for this mama to use as a guide.
Lilah is capable of reading all the books that are making headlines now. However, she is still just eleven years old. She wanted to read Fault in Our Starts. I pre-read it and felt that some of the relationship content was too much for an eleven year old. There is great buzz about Divergent so I read that too and felt that the scenes of violence were just too much for someone so young to take in and process, same with Hunger Games. Does this make me an overprotective mom? I really don’t know. I know that this is a popular genre and she wants to be a part of the dialogue that takes place when these books come up. She is a reader at heart. She is also a visual, creative, emotionally sensitive girl.
I offered her Uglies, and we’ll see if she likes that. In the meantime, she has picked up the book club book that we will meet to discuss at the end of the month, Jerry Spinelli’s Milkweed. I did not choose this book. It was recommended by my friend, whose son is in the book club and has read every book I was thinking of for our first meeting. In fact, he has listened to this book but was willing to re-read it because he said it was that good. How fortuitous that it happens to be about WWII and the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, Poland. How perfect that we already have an understanding of this horrible time in history. How interesting that the girls have a deceased relative who took part in the resistance.
To help build a total understanding of this book I am making a story board. Nothing too fancy, just a place to elaborate on some of the concepts in the book that are new to us, like the term jackboots and that it is not simply the boot but also the symbol for totalitarianism. I put up the map of Poland to illustrate where the country is in relation to Germany and a bit of the history of the occupation. I have had a very mature discussion of the many meanings of the word ghetto with Lilah. We are just six chapters in and I look forward to this daily reading time together with my girls.