It seems suddenly a huge surprise to be writing a mission statement for another child, and the temptation is just to cut and paste the one for SB at this age! However, allthough the basic principles of our ethos are the same, the 2 children are v different in personality, styles and needs. Whereas SB was a keen people pleaser who wanted to learn, and was happy to learn however it was presented, and it has gradually taken time to find what suits her well, BB is really far more individualistic and internally motivated! Also, I think we are more relaxed as a family this second time round. We understand the value of dead ends, false starts and rethinking, so there is less pressure to ‘get it right’ and more belief ‘in the process’.
anyway, here goes – normal disclaimers still apply!
Taking us to jan 2012 – ie BB 7 [2 years]
I think full formal education starts too soon. this first period is about learning learning skills, and getting the information – so reading is something we will build on! making the world an exciting and interesting place to live in and imparting the knowledge without being overly concerned to the most part on how long it is retained! Some skills are we want to start and hope to built on – namely literacy, language, numeracy and practical things such as art, music and sports. Others will come and go.The key thing is to view the tapestry, not count the stitches. The basic warp and weft will be forming.
In this, we are likely to be child led rather than completely autonomous. I see it panning out that there are activities we try and accomplish on a regular basis, be this daily, weekly, fortnightly or what seems reasonable . The actual minutiae will not be programmed, and will be child interest led. Although I have rough idea of what we may get through as such in the next 2 years, it isn’t ‘must do or else’, and often I skip bits : more a guide to where i see us being. BB has a clear idea of what she finds interesting at the moment, and so it seems entirely reasonable to look at these and follow the spark of her interest over the years. I have no prioritised information, or educational heirachy to worry about, so following her self led discovery seems as good a pointer as any. Also, with having a home educated older sibling, she can’t help but have some overspill from that input.
Play activities are equally vital if not more so at this stage – as when else in the future are you given the chance to have free play without some pangs of guilt? Lets get rid of the guilt, so that is something that is part of the balance. many of the toys can be seen to have all sorts of possible educational benefits, as I think there is very little ‘play’ that doesn’t have some learning potential – from rehearsing life scenarios, honing imagination, fine motor control, etc etc.
the Nitty Gritty
and that is that we will be leading up to increased stuff in the next 2 years, hopefully running through the before the codes , and then start the explode the codes- possibly 2 rather than 3 a year! BB has been very slow to ‘acquire the alphabet’ and i don’t want her to be pressurised and put off.
Find as many early readers that fire the imagination without being too awful, and ebay the rest! Encouraging a love of reading from the books – separate perhaps the architecture of reading into the explode the code, so the books aren’t so tedious from the language lessons! Continue to read aloud a wide and varied story matter that pleases BB and is chosen by her. I am also hoping that things like dsing will get her recognising the use of reading!
singapore maths we are on the earlibirds, but BB finds them v easy. Just trying to encourage her to think of doing some as part of life, and then hopefully this year will move on to the propre singapore maths books. this makes me realise how pro-active we were with SB, and worrying that should be trying harder with BB! Also incorporating lots of time just fiddling with manipulatives, and bring maths into the every day. We also have some cuisinaire books and the pattern blocks to play with.
Mostly we will be doing this with SB, so story of the world 2 and then 3, looking though our various lovely books – i wonder why’s, usborne books, the through time series etc.
BB is not so keen on writing any large amounts at the moment, but does like to write small notes and cards to people. At the moment we are not planning any additional writing, but as she gets more confident and keen, we have the getty and dubay series to hone things.
Actually we do regular science experiments, and BB enjoys these. We have again lots of early science readers i read to SB at this age
will be predominantly history and holiday based
We should give languages a good crack
SB is doing french, and so sensible to do with BB, we tend to read the story books altogether, and listen to the CD’s – serge is a favourite!
BB currently appears to have perfect pitch, so i encourage lots of singing and note mimicry. she is leanring the recorder, and i would quite like her to consider another instrument.
currently swimming and cycling. she has given up football, but is doing gym taster sessions.
well!! whatever really, posion rouge, zoombinis cd, webland to be getting on with.
Arts and crafts:
obviously a huge component of our days! we are a bit low on feathers and glittery bits…
Domestic Science!!: slight rofl at title, but a fair bit of baking and cooking, gardening, some tidying and laying the table. May start some sewing and later on she would like to learn to knit [from Nana!]
Socialising: regular attendance at not quite local groups, local clubs [ie rainbows], national camps and making sure we have a steady stream of houseguests.
hmm, reading this I realise how different our approach has been to BB over SB. SB was child led, BB is totally autonomous. having looked at the mission statement above, i am not sure whether we will be considering a change from autonomous to child led at all. however, i would like to give BB a small try on the different structure to see whether she enjoys it or not. I can’t make my mind up! SO…
I would like to make BB a ‘box book’ box of various early learner type interesting books that were hits with SB, and try and read one or 2 of them a week. i would like th encourage the french alongside SB, some regular maths and reading of some nature and recorder practice [plus other instrument if she fancies it]. i would also like to make available various iT resources for her to play with as well.