Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This Homeschool Just Got a Boost

I am a complete nerd, people.  A complete nerd.
My idea of a GREAT evening happened late last night after putting some final details on a package for a friend.
My great evening came at the end of a truly fulfilling and satisfying day at the machine.  While sewing, I was contemplating how to rise above the home school doldrums.  Elliot has, by his own admission, a need to be challenged further.
I am not about to become Tiger Mom.  I just don't have it in me to parent Chinese style, even if that would make Elliot a global competitor some day.  I allow bathroom breaks and time to grow skills in a natural way.
We needed a little brain fertilizer.
  It came in the form of a PBS show called Digital Media* New Learners of the 21st Century.  Having studied Education, I was immediately hooked by the teaching/learning theory jargon.  I get excited when teachers talk about students and how they are taking their skills and applying them to the real, ever changing world.
This 'bright spot" example explores how educators use digital media and interactive practices to IGNITE student's curiosity and empower them to direct their own learning.
I sat enthralled, with a notebook and a pen, taking handwritten notes (how archaic of me!) next to Richard while Elliot slept soundly, his arms wrapped around the giant stuffed Spiderman that he cuddles to fall asleep.
It was a program we needed.  Imagine our heads nodding at one professor's claim that public schools who prevent use of digital media in school are only preparing students for service jobs.  Yet another reason why pulling Elliot out will benefit him in the long run.
But I ached inside watching excited students in New York working together creating video games as part of their curriculum.  I wanted a school just like that for Elliot.  I want him to be surrounded by kids again, but in an environment that is exceptional in engaging his mind and social skills.  I haven't found it yet.  For now, this environment is home.
With my notebook in hand, I found myself creating a new lesson plan that will begin a series of projects to launch Elliot into developing his tech literacy.  He will design his first game that we hope to develop into a video game.
So, now, while he sleeps, I have the excitement of a kid on Christmas who waits for their parents to wake up so that the gifts can be opened.  I can't wait to start the day with the lesson that will set the stage for a whole new way of learning.

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