this is obviously referenced to the previous mission statement!
Taking us to feb 2010 – ie SB 9 [2 years]
I think full formal education starts too soon. the first period is about learning learning skills, and getting the information.
i think we have set a reasonably good ground for where we wanted to be. we have had a lot of fun. we have read widely, played madly, stuck, glittered, experimented and loved each others company. Along the way SB has learnt to read, and reads very well. this skill is a huge advantage as now she reads anything and everything. She has consolidated early maths skills, started the path to music and languages.
We still plan with our education to show the world as 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 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.
Although for ease of showing consideration to areas of curriculum, i have broken this down into curriculum links, a lot of them are fairly arbitrary. the order they appear is not particularly that of precedence. ALthough we will encourage regular maths and writing within the week and music and language practice, the details and timings of what to do will remain with SB . the ‘box book’ idea seems to work ok – though we must change them more regularly! new books or books round somehing she says she wants to read are popped into a box for a week and then supposedly rotated. when she claims to be at a lose end, i suggest she reads a box book, or choses something else. she invariably reads a box book – a its either new, or something that week she has wanted to read.
So we will remain child led rather than completely autonomous. I see it continuing 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. SB has a wide ranging thirst at the moment, and so it seems unreasonable to fix her attention on something she truly deems boring when there are many other things to catch her spark.
Play activities are still vital 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
to read herself a wide a varied amount of literature, encouraging her to try new genres and authors, and to stretch her imagination. to still read aloud to her a variety of stories, again across different genres and writing styles.
to start to discuss the mechanics of style and writing in the books, stories, poetry etc we come across. not much to start with -don’t want to impede the reading explosion! but to start thinking about why she liked bits, what the story is about, what interests are sparked from it, and perhaps the use of language.
to start her on the path to writing her own stories – encouraging the use of grammer and spelling!
writing: SB has stated an interest in writing more legibly, and we are gradually working through getty and dubay. We are half way through c. i hope we carry on with this. i hope to add some story writing or copywork activitities if she fancies it.
maths: singapore maths 2b at the moment, and hoping to move through a year of singapore with each calendar year, so perhaps starting 4a. it just depends really! . we also plan to use some CIMT maths for different perspectives. Also incorporating lots of time just fiddling with manipulatives, and bring maths into the every day.
History: we have commenced the second story of the world as a reader, and perhaps aim to complete this, just seeing how it goes. alongside this we have lots of great usborne books and good piccies in DK eyewitness [the text is too rich at the moment]
Also readers set in different time periods, and myths and legends seem to go down well. we can use this to spark interest and discuss as and when she fancies
we may start to introduce timelines, and see where this gets us .
critical thinking: I would like to do some critical thinking. May buy a sonlight book! However, i think lots of games playing will be helpful here, learning to plan moves ahead etc. SHe has taken up chess recently, and we play lots of games together
science: I would STILL like to join the young scientists club, and use those and our usborne pocket series. crystal kits, dig it out kits, and general messing about kits – lovely! SB has a real interest in doing experiments and seeing how things work, and i plan to facilitate this regularly.
at present the magic school bus chapter books and programmes are a hit, and contain solid wodges of info in easily accessible formats. i think as she loves them, this is definitely something to encourage.
i would like us to get round to joining the astronomy group, and hopefully hiring one of their telescopes, as she is keen to do this, and we would all enjoy it.
Geography: will still be predominantly history and holiday based, but perhaps something such as geocaching may take SB’s interest? it also gets covered alot as part of other things.
languages: SB would very much like to give more attention to languages. we have good resources for french, german and spanish to start, and also i need to practice the latin in between sessions. it is something she needs our help and encouragement with.
we will try and back this up with local groups to encourage the skills, and consider camping holidays in france to make them practical.
music :- piano is probably SB’s favourite, and we will encourage regular practice
we will do violin and at some point in the next 2 years, i might pass the tuition on to the county music service
certainly we wish to utilise the county music service for their early ensemble string groups. I think SB would get a lot out of this.
we will also do lots of singing, and listen to a wide range of music methinks.
drama: at present she does this with the home-ed group, and does enjoy it. the timing of the session is poor for me, and i think it might go after this term. we should look potentially for something else.
PE: is covered well at the moment, and we will continue to encourage a core sports practice and trying out all sorts of new ideas.
current activities are ballet, swimming and judo. She goes for gym taster sessions, so we hope to add that.
she would also like to at least try horse riding, and see if she enjoys it.
the local group has a monthly mixed sports group, which she loves and will continue to attend
more ad hoc are yoga and dance videos [which i should do too!!], and perhaps finding someone to get her started with in line skating. half term and holiday leisure centre taster events also popular
IT: well!! whatever really. we have the internet, a variety of cd’s and webland to be getting on with. i won’t renew education city unless she has a sudden mad rush at it!
Arts and crafts: obviously a huge component of our days! we are a bit low on feathers and glittery bits…
I would like to add in some art appreciation, look at different artists and styles, and ‘have a go’
Domestic Science!!: slight rofl at title, but a fair bit of baking and cooking, gardening, some tidying and laying the table. SHe is interested in sewing and knitting too, so it is just about making sure the basics are available and accessible for her to do when the mood strikes, or re-introducing if there has been a gap.
Socialising: regular attendance at not quite local groups, local clubs [ie rainbows], national camps and making sure we have a steady stream of houseguests.
we probably should have a look at what we go to and when, as with the increase in after school activity groups, we probably should do a bit more staying at home to accomplish some of the above.
family is also important, and maintaining close family ties and bonds.
trips and outings: i think we should be a bit more proactive now BB more amenable to going out and about to places for experiential learning opportunities. this would add a bit of sparkle and pizazz to the whole thing, add external excitement for looking at some things, and generally be fun for all.
practicalities: we have lots of resources and opportunities, i think in the next 2 years we parents have to hone our presentation skills, storage solutions etc, so that they are all readily accessible for SB to find . i think we need a ruthless look at groups that work or not for SB, and keep an eye on the opportunities to play and socialise.
obviously we do a lot of ed by conversation and seeing where that goes – sometimes quite tricky, so the other thing is to make sure that we are available , enthusiastic partners in the educational process.
this is a boring bare bones thought. chris needs to look, add and ponder. it is harder to really look at this in any more detail, as SB really will become more and more the driving force for her education, depending on her interest. I think for me, it is enough to know that i think we have resources and information and enthusiasm to back her up, but also to at this stage continue to encourage and lead and offer where necessary. by 9, i would hope that for the most part she will be autonomous and enthused about continuing to learn and find out. That we will have facilitated her spending ages on minutiae, and whipping through huge subjects in nano seconds where less interesting to her.