Aprendemos Academy is a small, multi-grade school. Our campus is located in a modest 4 bedroom home on the east coast, though classes have been known to take place just about anywhere. Including, but not limited to, the local Outback restaurant, where dinner turned into a geography lesson.
Our student body consists of three active, energetic children, GeekBoy, thePinkDiva, and BigBoy.
GeekBoy is a hands-on kind of kid. He loves experiments and building things with his legos. He is also very much a gamer with his current favorites being Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, and Zoo Tycoon 2. He is into Mythbusters, and love to replicate any experiment the teacher will let him try. (Diet Coke and Mentos anyone?) He does have his challenges, like dsygraphia, and prefers to draw rather than write. As such, his curriculum has been adjusted to allow him to dictate or type any written reports. He even has his own blog, which he uses to write some of his reports. Overall, he is a very sweet, very bright kid whether he knows it or not. This first grader has both challenged and amazed his teacher by his abilities. The teacher is constantly scrambling to find age appropriate, yet challenging reading material for this child, who reads a good 4 to 5 grade levels above his age.
thePinkDiva is very auditory/visual. Bored easily, this one wants everyone around her to entertain her all the time. She continually tests the norms, often refusing to give correct answers despite her knowledge just to see how the teacher reacts. She is an adventurous spirit, locked inside a porcelain doll. Fragile, yet strong. This preschooler loves writing. She thrives on work books where her brother despises them. Don’t let her grade level fool you, this preschooler is doing kindergarten math. She knows her letter sounds and how to read, but would rather give wrong answers and watch her teacher’s head turn purple and explode. Somehow she thinks this is funny.
BigBoy is a laid back, yet fearless 3 year old. Technically too young, and although not doing any official schooling, this little guy loves to tag along with his older siblings. As a result, this 3 year old is not only reaching his physical milestones ahead of schedule, and speaking clearer then most high schoolers in D.C. (so said his grandfather), he is also learning simple math (can tell how many wore cookies he needs to equal three) and knows his colors, body parts, positional words, and is often meeting and in some cases surpassing the developmental milestones for a 5 year old.
So what kind of teacher could possibly meet all the challenges these three students present? Surely it would take a certified teacher with years of college and possibly even a master’s degree to be able to meet each of the challenges presented by these students. It couldn’t possibly be their college-dropout mom. No. It couldn’t possibly be their high-school graduate, 19 years of military training, yet uncertified father. No. Surely, they must hire a certified tutor to be able to know how to teach these children. Right? I mean after all, the college-dropout who spends every free moment researching ideas and theories online, the woman who has made Google and Wiki-pedia her best friends in this effort, the woman who spends hours trying to find the best strategies, and new ways to challenge her students. This woman couldn’t possibly be the one responsible for the advanced knowledge of these challenging students. No. They must hire someone.
Wrong. The “teacher” of this small, home-based school is none other than their college drop-out mother. A woman who loves her children so much, she has given up the illusions of a grand career in digital scrapbook design, and instead focuses that creative energy on her three children and their education. Despite their teacher’s lack of credentials, the kids are flourishing because of the love their teacher/mother has for them. The same love which drives her to spend her free time researching, creating studies, finding fun field trips, and learning more about everything and anything her kids might want to know.
“As a mother, I want the best for my children. I want them to have the best education possible to be sure that they can accomplish whatever they want in life. As a teacher, it’s my job to not only meet the challenges each of my children present me with, but to also challenge them. It’s not a rose garden. The road of the Home Educator is riddled with self-doubt, worry, and stress. This is not a path for the faint of heart. ” – Lorraine Yuriar, teacher and mother