Thursday, December 02, 2004

Learning Log -- Thanksgiving and Volcanoes

We read a number of books about Thanksgiving, which I really enjoyed. One of the reasons I want to homeschool is the purely selfish reason that I want to learn all of these things again, many of them for the first time. When I have more time, I plan to update this post by listing the books we read about Thanksgiving.

Suzanne loves Reading Rainbow which is a half-hour show that comes on once a week. The last episode we saw was about volcanoes and was set in Hawaii. The episode showed volcanoes and discussed how they occur and what causes and eruption and how the lava over many years eventually becomes fertile soil. Suzanne became interested in volcanoes as a result of this and asked that I get some books from the library. The first book I got was about Pompeii and my husband chuckled at me, thinking it a rather gruesome subject for a child. Hey, he won't be laughing when she tells his parents all about Mount Vesuvius. I plan to update this with a book list.

The girls have also been playing with construction paper, crayons, scissors and glue. Suzanne, now 4 1/2 is quite adept with the scissors. Its nice to see her fine motor skills developing, it reassures me that someday, when she is ready, she will have the muscle control to write letters. Kids are interesting, Suzanne amazes me with her reading, but unlike the other children her age, she does not write letters of the alphabet (and I don't ask her). Sometimes I worry, but I'm either so full of faith that children will learn and progress when they are ready or I'm extremely lazy and cannot be bothered with working with her on her skills. I'll take the former explanation.

I do worry about my unschooling style but I remind myself that its not really for me that we are taking this approach, it seems like it suits Suzanne best. If I ask Suzanne questions or try to get her to do something she doesn't want to do, she resists. Though I notice she'll answer questions from other people -- a clue to the potential for power plays with mommy. I'll simply frame this as her independent nature.

1 comment:

Anne Zelenka said...

It does seem like kids do things only when they're ready (and when they're ready, just try to stop them!)

Anna has been working on writing for a while now. Is it due to her preschool experience? I don't think so, because her old school taught cursive and she is writing in block uppercase. I remember when one of Henry's preschool teachers chastised us for "teaching" him to write all in capital letters. We didn't teach him to do that! That's just the way he started to learn letters (maybe a lot of alphabet books present letters that way? maybe it was puzzles we had? I don't know).

That Reading Rainbow special sounds really good. Sorry we missed it because it's so relevant to us. I'll have to see when that show is on out here.