Thursday, May 7, 2015


I'm new to homeschooling.  I was happy to send my two girls off to school as soon as they were old enough.  But my older girl is of a different mind.  She wants her children homeschooled.  Enter Granbean.

Last year I played a small part in teaching 2nd-grade art and language arts to my granbeanie, as I call her.  This year, I've taken a more active role because my daughter had a baby late last year with a challenging disorder and I've wanted to take some of the work off her very tired shoulders. So it was time for me to figure out what we were doing in 3rd grade.

Let's face it, it's been a while for me since 3rd grade!  So I looked up what she was required to learn and I made a plan.

My student is smart but likes to do easy things so I made her first semester hard.  I told her she had to learn to type and to throw a pot on the potters wheel.  Both are challenging tasks for an eight-year-old.  She made it up to 15 words a minute and managed a fairly respectable pot.  The lesson wasn't so much for the actual skills involved as it was for the message I wanted to hammer home: you can do hard things!

In her second semester, she made a variety of crafts, including handbuilt pottery, knitting, and rock tumbling. She wanted to have a crafts booth and I said she could, but she would have to take part in all aspects of it - not just the production of crafts.  She made a paper spreadsheet of all her items, figured out what to charge, projected out the costs and revenues and made a stab at projecting her profit.  She arranged her display.  She helped set up at the venue.  And she greeted potential customers like a pro, dazzling them with the story of how she learned the crafts and why she wanted a booth.

She decided to share the profits with me.  I encouraged her to donate to some cause, but she told me she had worked "THREE months" on the booth and would be keeping the money.  I donated all of mine to FOD, the group that supports research on and families with fatty acid oxidation disorders, which is what afflicts her brother.  I don't take money from kids but in this case I think it helped her understand that the ability to give may be the most satisfying part of success.

She did great.  She sold a lot, but she also learned a lot.  She is anxious to do it again.  I've challenged her to master wheel work for her next outing.  After all, 4th grade is coming right up!

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