Sunday, July 27, 2008

Snippets From The Week & The Big Plan

For some reason, the past few Julys have brought about the need inside of me to make The Plan. The Homeschool Plan. To put down, on paper, exactly what our goals are for the next homeschool year.

Up until this point, my plans have been lofty. Reese has been young, & our Preschool years (are they gone already??)were spent learning from life. I'm glad he delighted in things that also taught him his letters, sounds, counting, colors, patterns, etc. Other than a few attempts here & there, we didn't do any formal sit-down-and-listen lessons. Reese wasn't ready, & I'm not pushing it.

He's a wickedly smart, motivated boy & he'll learn when he's ready.

So what's different this July? Well, technically, Reese is of Kindergarten age. I spent 4 years in college being taught how to teach. I was trained on techniques, curriculums, projects, objectives...all to help children learn.

The problem is now, though, that I have my own child who I get to spend 24/7 with. I watch him learn on his own, asking for our help when it's needed. I don't have to force anything down his throat that he's not ready for. He picks up bits of knowledge here & there from simply interacting with Mom, Dad, friends, coaches, life every day.

But now that my precious 5 year old is of "Kindergarten Age", I feel like I should have some sort of plan. A framework for our day. A plan of attack for our one main goal this year: Learn To Read.

My simple plan of attack quickly grew into something much more than Learn To Read. While I have chosen a phonics curriculum that I am completely confident in (the one I used when I taught 1st grade), I have also set out to incorporate activities in subjects such as Math, Social Studies, Science, Cooking, Literature.

I feel like I argue with myself. On one hand, we've been unschoolers up until now & it's worked extremely well. Reese could tackle any age-appropriate question and succeed with flying colors. But the Teacher Me has a hard time continuing this way. I spent too many years of college & work seeing the success of Teacher Led Learning. But I also know Reese, & my head and heart says take it slooooow, listen to Reese, and perhaps my goals are a bit too lofty. He has learned and absorbed and grown through living and experiences.

In a few days, I'll post my plan, a great Excel document Jeff created for tracking progress, and the curriculum choices I've made. At least I feel comfortable knowing I have something up my sleeve. Whether or not it all happens, only time will tell. If it's not working for Reese, I won't shove it down his throat. We'll find another method that works better. But I feel I'm failing him if I don't have some sort of that's where we are currently.

And now, some snippets from our week:

Reese was so excited when he found our old bubble blower that had gone was behind the washing machine! We pulled it out, washed off the ton of lint, & had great fun blowing tons of bubbles. The bubble solution from Gymboree is the BEST solution I've ever found!

Hey! It's the Taco Bell Cowboy! May I take your order?

Oh, my carb loving boy. We brought this huge loaf of french bread to feed to the ducks, but Reese decided it was for him instead. To the catty stranger-moms at the park who felt the need to comment: There's nothing wrong with a child running around the park with a loaf of bread. So kiss off.

Reese, Jessie, & I all pitched in to make Daddy's favorite dessert. I made the crust, Sissy made the white cheesecake-like center, and Reese topped the whole thing with cherry pie filling. He worked very carefully to spread the cherries just right...

I loved this picture, not because Reese has a deadpan face. Check out who is hovering a few steps above...waiting...for fall...

1 comment:

hollyandco said...

I love so much about this post - especially telling the catty moms to kiss off! :)