With a birthday (and promised birthday dinner) fast approaching, we began discussing meal requests. A request for nachos expanded to include tortillas and chilli – next thing I knew we were studying Mexico.
I’m an expert at flexibility – as long as I’m in control – so I quickly squeezed a four week unit study on Mexico.
We studied bailadores and rebozos and ponchos and sombreros. Estudiamos comidas de Mexico y ropas de los hombres y las muheres. Leemos un libro acerca un niñito Mexicano. Miramos adonde en el mundo es Mexico.
We presented our learning on a poster. Well, actually, three posters. And some hanging decorations. And a piñata. Our study of Mexican culture reached its pinnacle in our fiesta de cumpleaños – birthday party.
In theory, my two older children were going to show our amigos y nuestras familia the posters they’d made and tell them something they had learned about Mexico in an informal way. In the end, people were gathering in a different room and the mass convergence of people on the postered area proved too intimidating. My children are shy at times, especially when they are put on the spot or feel pressured.
One of the many blessings of home schooling is that they aren’t subjected to the antiquated practice of the ritual torture of children, otherwise known as “News” or “Show and Tell”. Under such inoffensive and, frankly, endearing titles has this insidious practice been allowed to infiltrate every Kindergarten class in the nation, but it is not a feature of the Parnell Homeschool.
I’ve quickly (or perhaps far too slowly for my children’s liking) learnt that forcing them to stand in front of a group and perform in any way whatsoever is just not going to happen. They are not disobeying me, it is just asking too much of them at this point in time. One day they will be able to speak in front of a group of people but today is not that day.