Have you ever watched or read the “Little House on the Prairie” books? They are based on the real life stories of the author, including her life attending a one-room schoolhouse. Back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s there would only be one teacher per town and that teacher was responsible for the education of all the towns children. She would need to teach 7 year olds and 15 year olds in the same room. Now that thought is so foreign to most of us since all grades are broken up and taught by individual teachers in separate rooms. Since the breaking up of grades came with the mandate or notion that a child needed to learn a specific thing at a specific time. So now, us as homeschoolers, have to fight with all of our might to push that notion out of our heads. If a 7 year old wants to learn astronomy, wants to learn it now, and doesn’t want to wait until he’s in the right grade to do so….we have the freedom allow him that. This means when we ultimately compare our children to those who attend traditional school (which I wish we didn’t, but it happens), our kids may not know the same things those kids know. But on the other hand, those kids may not be able to learn the things our children learn until they hit highschool or beyond. Am I making sense here?
We run a “one room schoolhouse” over here. That means, if we are learning about a place in geography, we ALL learn about it. If one of my children becomes vastly interested in a subject, we ALL get into it. Since I’m teaching Kindergarten, 3rd and 5th grades, they all will learn at their own pace and at their own ability. But I don’t have separate curriculum for each grade (again, except for math). We all can glean what we need to from learning the same thing, at the same time. I believe in this structure and to not hold back the younger children from exploring and enjoying what the older children are learning.
Who knows if the next great inventor is made because a 7 year old was allowed to do the risky and exciting experiments that his older sister was doing?
(My husband’s photo of their recent rocket launch!)