Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Homeschooling Generation M

Awhile back, I posted about concerns with kids and media, which I share. It must have been after that that I had a moment of inspiration: Why not put the elephant to work, so to speak?

So on a whim, I started a blog for Bantam 7. If I was going to type out a narration (that's a teaching strategy--after a child reads something, they "tell back" what they read; it teaches them sequencing, organizing, word choice, main idea, pre-writing skills, etc.), I might as well save it to a blog, for an audience--real or imagined!--rather than to Word file somewhere on my hard drive where no one knows of its existence but us. (In theory, we ought to print them out, he should illustrate them, and we should put them in a binder to be cherished and proudly displayed to...? In practice, we lose them, never get around to hole-punching and/or illustrating them and soon the binder is just taking up my valuable shelf space.)

I discovered that "working on my blog" is much more fun and motivating to a Bantam than "telling about what you've read." There's a reward at the end of the narration, too--finding a picture to put with the entry, making a link to a web page about the book, and then rereading all your posts! So go have a look--there's a link there in my sidebar.

(If you're back and wondering where he got the name for his blog, it's from a line in the cartoon music video "Grammar Rock.")

Blondechick 13 has been wanting her own blog ever since I started mine, and we've had many conversations with her about safety, anonymity, what is and isn't appropriate to write about, and time management on the computer--all the things I have to think about too. We've agreed that mostly her blog is to be on literary or educational topics (i.e. book reports/reviews, composition assignments), but she can also write about whatever she wants sometimes too. Since we set it up, she hasn't been able to do much with it yet, but hopefully she will be having more time for it soon. Go ahead and check out her first couple entries though!

I will set one up for Bantam 15 after school is out--it is mainly going to have pictures of his "Lego creations," but maybe I'll convince him to write his stories there too.

Bantam 10.95 hasn't learned keyboarding yet. Though we set that as a goal for him this year, at the end of the day I'm just as happy for him to go play with his brother than to sit down at the computer. He wants me to set up a blog for him and retype his handwritten composition assignments there. I'm planning to, sometime, but then I'm hoping he'll be inspired to go to town on the keyboarding program this summer. We'll see.

Finally a funny from him--though he didn't intend it to be!

In his math book was a story problem about a guy that wanted to fence his back yard. It gave the dimensions of his yard--you know, an area problem. Bantam 10.75 was having trouble concentrating, though. Finally I said, "Come on, how's this guy going to figure out how much fence he needs to buy?" Bantam said "Uh...," thought for a minute more and then, in all seriousness, decisively answered, "by math."


HolyMama! said...

oh, he's so cute. and correct, of course.

i'm off to visit those blogs!

At A Hen's Pace said...

Holy Mama--Your comments on my son's blog made his day! Thank you!!

Liquidoxology said...

What a great idea to have your kids "blog for learning"!

maria said...

what an awesome idea! a way to turn something that could be negative into a very positive one! so cool!

sparrow said...

fun! my kids have blogs too - and it is a good way to get them writing. great ideas for the individual kids, according to their interests.