When school started up in the fall, I started looking for a good recitation for Gabe to work on. Aside from scripture, we had not really done any recitations before, and since he was in Grade 5, I felt it was high time.
I thought The Jabberwocky might be good (you know… dragon-slayer and all), but Gabe wasn’t really interested. A short while later, Edie posted her girls doing it and suddenly The Jabberwock became of somewhat greater interest to him, but still not what I was hoping. “Maybe sometime Mom.”
Writing has always been the toughest subject at Armour Academy, the one that garnered the most frustration and complaint. So I was pretty happy when I came across the “Wordsmithery” program over at Small World . I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Since that time, we’ve slowly been making our way through the lessons. I say ‘slowly’ because
we are soaking it up,
and living in it
a bit more than we really need to, because … well, because we’re homeschoolers, and we can.
The things I still remember as a child in public school are the things that really interested me as a child. Those are the memorable bits. I truly enjoyed school as a kid, but unfortunately, due to the nature of a classroom setting and the number of students, I can really only recall a few times when I felt truly ignited over a topic. The things that interested me personally just couldn’t be explored often in class.
Thankfully, I’ve found some interest for my kids with Wordsmithery. They’ve actually been enjoying writing as a result of the of the baby steps we’re taking through the program. In one of the early lessons in the program, Sarah introduced The Jabberwocky in the context of ‘using good words.’ That day, we spent almost 2 hours learning about The Jabberwocky, found a picture of the beast, read interviews with Carroll, discovered the nuances of his writing, his unique personality, his inclination to make up these amazing words that add to the beauty and description of his poem. What fun we had that day! Before long we were making up our own words, exploring our own literary creativity.
Oh, the beauty of seeing my kids (especially my eldest in this case), wide eyed and excited over his work, rich with expression and dripping in beautiful language. He suddenly wanted to recite the Jabberwocky. He worked on it over and over that day and by the next day, he was able to recite it fully.
You see, there are many ways to learn something, but only a few for each of us that allow us to do it effectively. What makes one child thirsty for knowledge is likely different from next. There are innumerable ways to learn about beautiful words, but this one really worked for Gabe.
When kids are truly interested in a topic, and are given the freedom to dig deeper, that topic becomes the catalyst for learning – with thirst and love and desire for more and more. It’s another contributing factor in our decision to homeschool.
What a beautiful thing!
And on that note… here’s Gabe’s recitation. This was his first shot at it this morning. I wasn’t sure he’d remember it as it’s been many months now, but he did! That just confirms to me the likelihood of retaining something when it’s of interest.
I LOVE homeschooling!