Friday, October 15, 2010

Success With Themes!

I have now been teaching, and learning for 5 weeks with my kids! I can't believe how fast things are happening but am so grateful I get to see how everything unfolds. I can't imagine missing all of these light bulb moments that truly make me feel blessed daily. The weekly themes have been very successful and each week the next theme reveals itself with ease. Sophia has been able to make global connections that are beyond her years in age, and often makes her momma scratch her head and research to find "the" answers. Each week I use a general theme and then we continue things from the following lessons that were of interest. I rely heavily on literature, reading each morning a story having to do with our day. Our public library has really great programs for kids which includes Story Time Kits dealing with many topics we have been covering. Usually they have three of four books, a video or DVD, and felt board activities. It really is an amazing resource and cuts down on my preparation time considerably!!

Just to give you an idea:

Week 1: Diversity and Multiculturalism- focus on Africa/ India
Week 2: Native Americans- focus on the Americas
Week 3: Autumn- Seasons changing, weather changes- focus on harvesting, and apples
Week 4: Natural Cycles- Life Cycle- focus on the life cycle of the Butterfly
Week 5: Foods- Health and Nutrition- focus on the food pyramid and exercise

I have felt such a sense of success when by Friday of each week the kids have turned the theme into some form of play. They are making a nutritious felt pizza as we speak! Sophia made vegetable garden markers last night for fun for our garden next year, and when we were discussing the Native Americans they played for hours on the front porch foraging, hunting, and "making fires" to cook their meat over. For these guys their work turned into play and I feel that they have internalized the lessons.

We have had the great fortune to have one of my husband's former English teachers coming over every Monday to read to the kids and she has started a journal with Sophia and always has a big bag overflowing with books. The kids look so forward to it!
This week we also had our first session at the local gym. I had set up a time and invited a bunch of moms, some homeschoolers and some just with young kids still at home. It ended up being quite a success we kicked balls and jumped ropes, crawled through tunnels and made new friends. We have also picked up Sophia's violin and start lessons next week. We also found out last night that one of the girls in her dance class is also a homeschool and they had hit it off before we even made the connection. I feel so blessed to be able to do this and I feel like the universe is just beginning to open up these amazing possibilities to us. My hope is it will continue always!!!