I spent my free time this afternoon listening to a lecture called "Teaching Students to Work Independently" given by Susan Wise Bauer. It was only a few dollars to download and it was well worth the cost, in my opinion. I probably had to pause it fifty times to deal with the kids and the phone, etc. But it is nice that I own it so I can listen to it again in the future.
While some of the content of this lecture didn't exactly apply to us right now (she speaks about how to teach all levels of students from elementary through middle and high school), I found that it was a good reminder of why I am trying to do all that I am doing now and how it will "pay off" for Norah in the future. So much of what I am doing now is training her to be capable of so much more later on.
I think I will try and listen to all Bauer's lectures available online here. It's certainly more productive and inspirational than watching crap on Hulu with my free time!
Here's a short quote from the lecture that I really liked. So many people are critical of schedules and plans. Sometimes I even wonder whether they don't just squash all joy and creativity in the learning process. I guess I want both the academic rigor and freedom that's possible with home school and it's hard to know how to create an environment to allow for both. But Bauer answers this concern well, I think, when she says:
"If the kid gets really into one subject and wants to keep doing it all day, absolutely, this is the point where you ditch the schedule. The schedule is not your master, it's an aid. What you do then, if the kid does history all day long, is that the next day you say, 'You can't start with history today. I'm going to pick your first subject today and it's going to be math.' You do have to be the one to keep the balance during the week. But, yes, absolutely, why are you home schooling if the kid can't grab something and run with it? You should always let them do that."