We wrapped up our first week of homeschooling last Friday and I think it went well.
I found a book I like to loosely base themes from – It's called Where is Thumbkin?: 500 Activities to Use with Songs You Already Know and it's pretty much that: activities that integrate with songs we already know.
For example, this past week in the "Preschool" section it was "Head and Shoulders" – which we sang and re-sang and then did full-body drawings, worked on Micah's "book about me", talked about our bodies and body part names and so forth. In the "Toddler" section (- another reason I really like this book – it has both Preschool and Toddler sections – so in doing both, we are covering things a little more suitable for each munchkin), we learned "Good Morning to You", got used to circle time and made placemats to sit on.
I think both kids could pretty easily, pretty happily, engage in their "school" – the short "lesson" with the long arts and crafts, then the long outside play and more "school" in their Little Yellow Schoolhouse – for many more hours than we did this past week. I basically had to drag them away to do other things.
We signed up for Spanish – Micah, Moxie and myself. It was supposed to be in the TPR style, a Mommy-and-Me kind of class. Pretty rad-sounding, huh!
But. Well, it wasn't TPR. It felt like the fumblings of a beginning teacher, unsure of herself, uncomfortable with kids, and with an unfortunate knack of losing class control.
These things I was willing to roll with – everyone has to start from somewhere, right? – but she kept on excluding Moxie. I mean, she'd talk with babies that were clearly pre-verbal and skip Moxie. Pass out worksheets to every kid in the class except for Moxie. Hand the toys out for some activity to every kid except for… yep, you guess it! Moxie.
Everything considered – the bountiful exclusion coupled with the fact that it was not actually TPR-style, and that I was spending the whole time in class helping the teacher rather than being a student (as was promised), we quit and switched to a French class for just Micah. So far, so good.
I wrote a letter to the school administration about the reasons we left the Spanish class but it still rankles that someone saw my daughter as basically unworthy of education.
So this is how it can go. People will see her obvious physical characteristics of having an extra chromosome and place her right into some small tight and dark box and clamp a lid on her.
Yeah, well. Screw that. Over my dead body.
An awesome Mom that I have just become friends with told me about this thing that she heard about in the Homeschooling Conference: a Star Trek Curriculum! I almost peed my pants.
STAR TREK CURRICULUM!
Google didn't yield up anything (worthwhile looking) that has already been designed, so I'm assuming a parent created and implemented a curriculum specifically for their child. With Star Trek – Next Generation – that's pretty easy. Micah's only 4 but when we watch it every night, we pause it throughout and talk about what's happening. Most of the episodes contain thinly-veiled references to current subjects – gay marriage, racial equality, values and morals like standing up for what you believe in and so forth.
Watching it already as we do, it's an easy matter to integrate themes. Branch off and study stars by visiting the local space and science centers, watching DVD's on the universe, constructing our own space crafts and model Milky Ways.
My lovely friend Melissa also gifted us with one of the most incredible gifts I've ever received.
First the box – with the blue stuff that the kids are crazy about!
Then the absolutely adorable fingerless gloves – FINGERLESS GLOVES!!!!! – for Boo as well as an adorable hat that Micah thought looked like a Star Trek Communicator. These precious bits of handmade goodness make me want to dress him up already. One more month.
We had NO IDEA what the box entitled "To Boldly Go Where No Imagination Has Gone Before" would be about
He figured it out first – clever cat. See those dolls? THE SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE NEXT GENERATION! L-R there is Riker, Picard, Geordi (with visor!!!) and Worf (with sash!!!)
On his fingers they went
She did too (that Counselor Troi she's finger-cuddling there)
He wanted the puppets – all of them – to enjoy watching themselves on the show. So he held them up while we watched that night.
Thank you, Melissa. What a gift. What talent you have….
Wrapping up, I found this great quote and spun a little photo-meme that I really love:
Over and out. Let's get our week on!
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