Thursday, November 12, 2009

Themes

I know that many of “real homeschoolers” follow some sort of curriculum, even for young kids. I mentioned several times that we don’t. This curriculum freedom allows me not to stress over being “behind”, and I can try different things and reject them if they don’t work. I am very interested in an idea of child-led learning, but until recently I wasn’t sure how to introduce this idea to Anna. Recently, however, she started to show more interest in certain topics, for example, everything related to human body and health. So I decided to try something new. I created this set of cards in CorelDraw – my husband and I do all our digital scrapbooking and other digital art projects in CorelDraw. Unfortunately, I can’t share the file, because these images come from CorelDraw proprietary image library, but you get an idea :) My husband cut and laminated the cards, and I asked Anna to choose what she would like to learn more about next week. I was pleased that she very quickly zeroed on three topics that I sort of expected her to choose – Planet Earth, Human Body, and Dinosaurs. After some hesitation she chose dinosaurs. I am very excited – there are so many good books and good crafts about dinosaurs. I am hoping to have a week with a new dinosaur book every day, a new craft every day, possibly watching Dinosaur Train and a lots of pretend play with dinosaurs. I hope that she likes the idea so much that she will start generating her own ideas soon.

10 comments:

Ticia said...

Very cool. If you're doing dinosaurs next week, then you'll love my reading post this Saturday, all about the dinosaur books we found.
I follow a curriculum, but do also go somewhat where they're leading, so we spent 2 weeks on dinsoaurs, and moved up the octopus/ocean unit to when it interested my kids. If I'd been smart I would have spent 2 weeks on the human body as well.

whisperingwhispers said...

What a great idea!

While I follow a curriculum only for Selena's workbook material, we pretty much go with themes that Selena chooses, this might be from a picture out of her workbook, or something she has discovered in the world around her.

I have to admit though sometimes it is something I want to teach, which sometimes works or sometimes Selena changes that theme as well.

Have fun with your dinosaur study!

The Fifth Street Mama said...

Great job finding a method that works for you. We are still in the process of putting together what we want to do for school.

Adriana said...

Terrific idea! I don't think that I could do this every week because I am such a planner. I have been picking our "themes" weeks in advance so that I can order the books I need from the library and make sure that I have all of the supplies that I need. I love the idea of letting D make more of the decisions though. I think that I will try to do this in a couple of weeks (since I already have them next few planned out :) and I 'll let you know how it goes.

Together We Save said...

Sounds like you have found what works for you. I am so impressed with home schoolers. My kids go to public school, I would never be organized enough to teach them from home.

SmartPumpkin'sMom said...

Cool! I don't have a curriculum either but I am trying to get through the topics I have in mind. This is a wonderful way of doing that!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I really like this... I think giving a child the leading role in deciding what to learn about gets them more interested right from the start. I'm definitely going to have to do something similar with Matthew! Thanks for a super idea!

MaryAnne said...

This is a really nice idea, I think Emma would really benefit from something like this in our home. Thanks for sharing!

Sheena said...

This is a great idea! I don't really have a plan right now because of holidays, vacations and such, but at the beginning of the year I want to get back to more theme centered weeks. Instead of me choosing what to do certain weeks I can use your idea and let M&M decide what we do. Thanks for sharing!

MaryAnne said...

Thanks for linking up, and for reminding me of this idea! I think this is a great way to help a child take ownership of their education, and to help them find something interesting to learn about. I meant to make some cards like this last year and never did; I think I'll see if I can get it done by the end of this month.