Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Getting Started!

To kick off this blog I feel it would be best to provide an introduction. Likely you have found this blog while poking around the internet for homeschooling resources much like I have been. Having a context for the content you are reading is super helpful however. 

Starting in January of this year I have been homeschooling my nephew whom I will just call J. J is in 6th grade. He is social, intelligent, autistic, athletic, empathetic, perfectionistic and struggles with the core subjects of reading, writing, and math. He loves science and social studies. I am also autistic. I have a bachelor's degree in math, a minor in Latin and a year of graduate work in education, including a successful practicum. By day I now homeschool my nephew but by night and weekend I  am continuing my job as a web developer at NIRD (Northwest Independent Ruby Development). 

Agile is a paradigm in programming that involves applying the concepts that were outlined in the Agile Manifesto to the process of software development. When I was introduced to Agile while learning to code, I fell in love with it. It was a philosophy that really jived with my intuitive philosophy of life, or at least the one I strive for even if I usually get scared and run back to rigidity. 

When considering how I wanted to set up homeschooling my nephew I wanted to keep this Agile philosophy in mind. J has been indoctrinated in a school system that isn't working for him. He takes this as a personal failing and judges himself harshly. He also sees learning as extrinsically motivating as opposed to intrinsically motivating. For this reason I felt that unschooling was a poor choice for him at this time. Given that his gaps in knowledge and skill are a patchwork of issues and he is concerned with being treated as not knowing something he knows, I felt like a straightforward curriculum approach was also a poor fit. So instead I'm leading the adventure in learning with resources that I can cobble together and trying to remain aware of the course corrections required as they come up. 

 This blog will be a log of various learning adventures and challenges. What I try and how it works. You may see several system changes or just a few. You may see a lot of resources or tools or just a lot of feelings. You may not see as many blog posts as you would have otherwise liked. After all it is hard to homeschool and work and write and maintain personal connections with folks. But it is my intention to provide some value to others who are struggling in this task of educating children.

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