Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can Your 6 Year Old...?

Charlotte Mason included in her Original Homeschool Series books some lists of attainments, goals or objectives to be met by certain ages. She has one for 6-year-olds and one for 12-year-olds.

"A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six", a reprint of a curriculum outline from a CM school in the 1890's.

1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns

2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm

3. to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with dominoes or counters

4. to read--what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child

5. to copy in print-hand from a book

6. to know the points of the compass with relation to their own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows

7. to describe the boundaries of their own home

8. to describe any lake, river, pond, island etc. within easy reach

9. to tell quite accurately (however shortly) 3 stories from Bible history, 3 from early English, and 3 from early Roman history (my note here, we may want to substitute early American for early English!)

10. to be able to describe 3 walks and 3 views

11. to mount in a scrap book a dozen common wildflowers, with leaves (one every week); to name these, describe them in their own words, and say where they found them.

12. to do the same with leaves and flowers of 6 forest trees

13. to know 6 birds by song, colour and shape

14. to send in certain Kindergarten or other handiwork, as directed

15. to tell three stories about their own "pets"--rabbit, dog or cat.

16. to name 20 common objects in French, and say a dozen little sentences

17. to sing one hymn, one French song, and one English song

18. to keep a caterpillar and tell the life-story of a butterfly from his own observations.

Hmmmmmm. That's an interesting list/test, isn't it?

Obviously Ms. Mason was big on perception and nature.

But times have changed since then. I ought to make up my own, updated list:

1. Knows their parents' phone numbers

2. Knows how to Google

3. Can log in and send an email

4. Can operate a cordless cell phone
For more on Charlotte Mason's 'old school' methods - click here.


Heather said...

Hi again! I wanted you to know that your blog has recently become my very first RSS feed! I also wanted to ask you what was the final straw that convinced you that you had to homeschool?

I am about 50% there but I don't know how to take that leap. I see my son in yours when you share your stories and his progress. He is 5 and spends his time on the computer writing basic programs with Scratch. He is also currently reading a children's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (about 100 pages). He is in K this year and I loved it at 1st because all of a sudden he went from being a toddler to a boy and I was amazed at all the things he was learning, but as the year goes by I am disappointed that all the teacher seems to care about is that he is slow in cutting and pasting! I can only imagine how bored he must be to review "sight words" every day like "cat" and "boy" when he is sounding out words like "befuddle" at home.

Anyway... all this to say, I wanted to share this link with you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U (It is kind've long, but the British accent and animation made it fly by for me.)

Information like that breaks my heart. I don't want to send my boys to school so that they can LOSE mental potential! My #1 problem with homeschooling is that my husband is 100% against the idea. Everything else is just logistics... but it does seem daunting to take that leap!

Any insight you have would really be appreciated!

CaptiousNut said...

Hi Heather,

There was no *final straw* in a discrete sense. As I read about homeschooling, the odds that I would homeschool mine went from 10%, to 30%, to 80%, to 100%. And when I was at 100% my wife was probably only at 50%.

We did a ton of *work* with our son and he got so far past kindergarten-level work, so fast, that there was just absolutely no way we could send him and not feel like child abusers.

Now I'm of the strong opinion that EVERYONE should educate their children *outside the system* by an individualized approach.

BUT I'm even more strident that above-average students should be pulled out. IMO, they suffer even more than that poor performers that are always mourned in the media. (It's actually just a ruse for more taxpayer money!).

So if you 5 year old is reading 100 page books it goes without saying that I believe, from a *best education* standpoint, you HAVE TO take him out.

It'd be one thing if homeschooling JUST developed stronger families and more mature children. And it'd just be one thing if homeschooling allowed kids to get a couple years ahead of their peers in math, reading, science, etc.

But my 6.35 year old son is solving quadratic equations today. He's 8 FULL YEARS AHEAD of my math education. And bear in mind that I was a nationally competitive mathlete!

There's just no way a *school* can bring out the potential of bright kids. It actually has to, and does, hold them back and dampen their capactities. Have you read John Gatto yet?

As for your husband, without being harsh, everyone at some point was 100% against homeschooling. I'm sure he just thinks it too *weird* and articulates that with the word "socialization". That's pretty much the only/big argument out there, toothless as it is. Occasionally, some parents who come from an academic-worshipping culture make arguments that protect the institutions that *certified* them. But I'm going to guess your husband falls into the former category.

Email me on the side and I'll be happy to discuss your specifics....for as long as it takes!

Anonymous said...

thanks heather for that video. He made one point, which seems quite obvious i never realized : Does Age determine the learning capability or knowledge of the children? why do we limit child growth by keeping them in same "class".

With internet, the whole education/learning game changed radically. The progressive class structure (and based on age!) doesn't apply any more. You can pretty much Do-it-Yourself (DIY) anything you want...there are literally 1000s of free books/forums/papers/discussions/videos available online - you dont need formal class-age based education to do anything.

I do think research-labs/college are very important...particularly for fields like biology or any advanced topics (physics, chemistry) etc.

So homeschooling (or its principles) is important to a certain age...i guess.

I hope this changes in future...may be the labs will become privatized...anybody can learn/experiment by paying money or from sponsorship?

CaptiousNut said...

Indeed it is a good video. Thanks Heather. I'm going to have to pull it to the front page!

Anne Galivan said...

Heather: I do hope you take the leap. I have been home-schooling for over 20 years and somehow CNut and I found out about each other's websites (I don't remember how...maybe the illustrious CNut does) - in any case, we've been commenting on each other's blogs since then and arguing about Tim Ferriss and he even guest-posted at my website, which I hope you would take a moment or two to peruse as I think it would truly help you. (CNut: You don't mind me plugging my blog, right?!)

Anyway...I was thinking about my youngest today who is truly a unique child. I had him when I was 40 (ouch, yes I am THAT old!) and had four much older children already. He was an incredibly difficult child and I sometimes wondered why God would give me my hardest kid to raise when I was so old and tired. Fortunately, all my older children were still living at home (we don't believe in kicking our children out when they turn 18 - they are charming to have around and very helpful to boot) - so my older children filled in hugely as secondary mom and dad to our youngest.

But I also thought today that maybe God did it that way so that I would already know what a "normal" kid essentially acts like and I would better be able to understand that my youngest is just so different and therefore needs a different way of relating to him. To give you some idea, I have many times looked up the concept of autism and the autism spectrum because I would read things that seemed to ring a bell with my son. But at the same time, he really doesn't fit with a lot of the stuff I read relating to autism and he is incredibly intelligent so...rather than label him I have just decided to pray and let God lead me how to raise this unique child. I'm anti-goverment schools anyway, but sending this child to school would truly have been disastrous and maybe even dangerous. Thank God for home-schooling. I mean that with all my heart.

And by the way, my little guy turned nine today (the 22nd). I now have four kids ages: 26, 23, 17 and 9. I don't think I LOOK that old but I sure do FEEL that old. :)

Anonymous said...

wow anne! amazing.


Heather said...

Thanks for the reply, CNut! It gave me a warm-fuzzy to see my link make the front page! I will be taking you up on your offer to e-mail you and pick your brain! ;)

And thanks, Anne, for your link! I plan on browsing your "How-To" articles in depth as it is helpful to visualize how I would implement homeschooling.

Anne Galivan said...

Anonymous: Thanks for the comment and link. If he could have his way my son would work for Pixar someday. He is a Pixar fanatic and is constantly making Power Point presentations on the computer having to do with Pixar movies or with his own movie concepts. I just keep praying every night for the wisdom to guide him in the right direction for his unique gifts and talents.

Heather: I am glad you find my site to be useful! It has a lot of info for people just starting out. And feel free to contact me any time through my contact page. I have helped lots of people on an individual basis.