W went to school and J and I went over to her friend, G's house. She's J's homeschooling friend who happens to be going to school for the first time this September. She's never been to school and I'm sure she's very curious about it. J thinks G won't like it, but I told her not to say that to her. They played for hours with their American Girl dolls and G's Polly Pockets collection. G's mom and I gabbed away the whole time. I left at 2:15 and came back later with W and K. We stayed a few minutes more, drove home so the girls could change into dance clothes, and went out to Musical Theater class. B had band rehearsal tonight - their playing CBGB's next month!
I'm reading Homeschooling for Excellence. I have to say I really like this book. It's old, but not dated at all - except that there's no mention of the internet. There were the same educational problems in this country 20 years ago as there are today. I like their style. They were unschoolers for the most part, but did require the boys keep a daily journal that was shared and critiqued. It turned out to really benefit their writing skills in the future. Many of their opinions and experiences really resonate with me. I highly recommend it.
Yesterday W brought over his (1st grade) Brainquest cards for us to do together. He knew that n-e-t is "net" and backwards it's "ten", that the first president of the US was George Washington, and that the word "shopping" didn't belong with "soccer", "basketball", and "baseball" because it's not a sport. He knows a lot more than I thought he did. The funny thing is that he learned none of this in school. He seems to have great reasoning and memory skills. I remember J at that age. She had to be at least at a 2nd grade level (in Kindy she hit the ECLAS ceiling in reading at a 3.8 grade level) and was also ahead in fine and large motor skills. W doesn't have the same academic abilities J had, but he seems to have a better sense of the world around him. K was exactly like W, endlessly studying people and places intently. They both always notice things I don't. K still has that. She never forgets what someone was wearing or the fine details of place's interior. And she always seemed to study and internally analyze other kids playing a game or what others do in a situation she's not familiar with. I even have videotape of her doing this when she was 3 at a new playgroup. I was/am like J. K and W are like B. I learn a lot from K, W, and B and totally understand every feeling J has.
I always wonder, though, how K would have used her skills if she had been homeschooled. Her tendencies for deep focus and concentration could probably have opened up so much more "world" for her. I'm trying to stay on top of what she's being taught in school - it's just all over the place without much connection. From algebraic equations to the Louisiana Purchase to the human body - she has to abruptly switch gears every 40 minutes. I just don't think people were wired to learn that way. But that's just me.