Monday, September 20, 2010

"The Absorbent Mind"

Our first week has officially ended and we are right into the next. Sophia's enthusiasm is contagious and both Liam and I have caught it! To my surprise we have covered a vast array of topics thanks to the whim of Sophia's brain and a basic outline thought out by yours truly. I was so nervous and excited on Sunday night that I barely slept and woke up at an ungodly hour. Guess who was already awake- Sophia! She was so excited she wanted to begin right away her appetite has been insatiable since.

I was trying to think of a tangible example that I could use to describe my teaching technique and this is what I came up with: A Skeleton- I would provide the spinal column and the kids would guide the bone building process. Ribs to shoulders to arms and head, hips to legs to ankles and feet. You can see how this progresses and could keep doing so. I have been keeping a daily journal to document what we work on because every moment is fleeting. We have covered so much just the first week I could never write everything but we have decided on weekly themes.
Due to the strange looks of disapproval and the silence that comes over people when Sophia tells them excitedly that, "Yes I am in Kindergarten. My mom is Homeschooling me!" I picked diversity and differences for our first week.

Our Day:
We created the ritual of yoga, then morning circle time with a welcome song. We change the day and weather on our wall calendar and then Sophia records in her science journal the weather condition. I then read a book, or poem having to do with our theme. We then go on our daily adventure which really leads us wherever Sophia takes us. I like to think of these as little rabbit trails. Just in the first week we learned about the life cycle of butterflies, why girls and women in India wear Bindis, and how to count to 100, just to mention a few.

It is in these fragile moments that I feel a caring and intelligent adult is created. I truly feel that the difference between good and evil comes down to the ability to accept adversity thus growing from each experience. If you don't learn this early on you will become stunted and place barriers on yourself mentally and physically. My hope is to give my kids a chance to grow, purely.

Sophia is a brilliant young mind questioning and wondering about everything thus
creating the same effect on Liam. The "absorbent mind" is the most accurate description and I love Montessori for coining it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A is for Acclimation

The idea of "the first day" is both exciting and a bit dauting...we are to be completely responsible for educating these young minds! I began with large ideas and plans and have narrowed things first into months and weeks, and now into days and even hours. I am also ready for the possiblilty that my plans all go up in smoke begining the first day. I do feel prepared however, and for me that is a good thing!

I began with these concepts: Kindergarten
(some are not totally age appropriate but for Sophia they will be)

*Language- History of Writing and the Alphabet, Story Concepts (who,what,where,why), Spelling and word play, Pronunciation (phonics)

*Math- Developing # concepts, Geometric shapes, measurement (cooking, water collection, thermometer), time telling, money counting

*Science- Weather, Seasons, basic astronomy, silence and sound in nature, ecosystems and diversity (basic)

*Social Studies- Address and phone #,community exploration,state and country, geography and diversity of culture

*Health- Nutrition, basic cleanliness, basic anatomy

*Fitness- Large motor skills, yoga, gym class (at the local civic center), swimming, soccer, dance, Boxing (w/ Toby), Hiking

*Art- Art book study, arts and crafts of all kinds (daily), art in nature, color work, pattern play

*Music- violin lessons, daily listening and singing, dance class

My next step is monthly themes, weekly excercises and daily activities! I have the first week completed anyway! Our classroom is finished and our school supplies are bought we will begin this Monday the 13th! Excited and nervous, Sophia and Liam can hardly wait we have already dug into many topics listed above but I can't possibly make them wait! This may turn into a all year adventure which is really no different than the last 5 years...