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21 November 2013


I see a lot of people worrying about lesson plans, but I admit that I'm doing that less and less lately. I still use my planning guide, but the way I use it has been morphing. Lately, I've had the feeling that Hero's need for "white space" is higher than it has been. And there's been more time where the boys play together than there ever has been, and I love the way their relationship is developing. I have waited school more than once because I didn't want to mess up the good things they were doing together.

My Hero is very mathy, and I have yet to successfully plan math more than a week or two in advance, if that. I suspect that Dragon is also going to do quite well with numbers, and we're starting him right out in Miquon, rather than Math Expressions. Anyway. I'll think I've got a good pace, but then Hero sponges it up and gets bored, so we move on. Fast. So I just roll with it. Lately, I've been asking him, "Do you want to do fractions or multiplication today?" I just got some graph paper, and I'm going to see if I can interest him in some of Vihart's doodle games. We'll see.

Our science is very un-schooly. It has been for a long time now. I hated the animal encyclopedia that TWTM recomended for the 1st grade animal study: too basic. Oh. And the boy had eyes only for birds of prey. We spent nearly the whole time on birds of prey. Dissected an owl pellet. Went out to the local eagle's nest. He's never really stopped loving the birds of prey, and they come up as a topic from time to time still. We were interested in astronomy, so we tried to do astronomy after the animals (he didn't care about bodies or anything else from the 1st grade year, so I figured we'd come back later). And kind of we did, but you'd never know it to look at my lesson plans, LOL! When I did come back around the to human body, thinking that we'd do a section on that, it turned out that our conversations we had - the baby was in the NICU with a collapsed lung, so we talked about lungs, and another time we talked about how skin works, and the interactions of muscles and bones... how intestines work. We hit enough stuff in just conversation that the body encyclopedia that TWTM recommended was too simple. Lately, he's discovered Bill Nye the Science Guy and he can't get enough of him. He'll watch episode after episode, for hours. And want more the next day. Real science kick. It's really cool to watch. But I didn't plan it. I don't even remember why it is that I introduced him to Bill Nye. They've had 4 or 5 tonight. They're "looking" for the one on the water cycle, but they haven't found it yet today. They've watched it several times now, and it spawned an experiment this morning predicting and observing water condensation, all Hero's idea. I just helped him structure his experiment a little, and took notes for him. He's got another one that he wants to do. I'm helping him do the scientific method process. One of these days I need to introduce him to the term "the scientific method."

Anyway. Anything you buy a curriculum for --in our case that includes Story of the World, All About Spelling, Rod n Staff grammar -- you just open to the next page. Anything you are doing in an interest lead kind of way, you ask the kid what they want to learn and then figure out how to make it happen. That's my process at this point, and I have yet to get it to plan nicely. When I pre-plan and write it all down, I open the book and make a note of what's next, and I try to predict the pace he'll want to go, and guess at the rabbit trails we might enjoy. Other times, I track what we did do as much as what I think we'll do. We hit most things most days, and I don't sweat it if we have a day - or even a series of days - where we miss the same subject. We'll get back around to it. I've learned that interest is cyclical: this week Hero is inhaling science and he can't concentrate on language arts. But when the intense need for one kind of information is satisfied there will be room for other kinds. One time he wanted a whole week of math. Later he was reading so much that there wasn't room for much else. There were a couple days where he wanted tons of Japanese. Now he wants science. That other stuff will come back around again, and I don't want to spoil the joy of learning by breaking his Zone. Other times we'll buzz along, hitting everything nearly every day for a couple weeks or even a month or two. And both "schedules" are ok.

The child is obsessed with....

I think children learn differently from adults. They often go at One Thing hammer and tongs for an extended period of time, exhaust it, then move on. Heck, they even eat this way. "He only eats pb&j right now." This makes adults anxious and controlling because we think they'll be that way forever. Nope. This is what children do. No need to correct unless it's dangerous. They outgrow it. Don't let it make you nuts. Just roll with it, stay observant, give additional wholesome choices, and be patient. This passes.

The Libertarian Homeschooler

All that means that more and more, I'm tracking, rather than planning. I think it's going to end up being a balance thing. Maybe some things will need more planning, and other topics will work better with tracking. After all, this homeschooling thing is a work in progress.

P.S. I'm so glad you stopped by to read about the adventures at our house! If you want more, "Like" my blog on Facebook to get posts (and the articles n things I wish I had time to blog about) in your feed. Wanna see all the projects and ideas that I may or may not get around to? Follow me on Pinterest. Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Addie said...

I ADORE Vi Hart!!! She makes regular appearances in my math classroom.


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