There are so many resources out there that it is hard to choose what to do. We are just at the end of a few different units and it is time to choose what to do next. It is easy just to get swept away with a popular unit or something equivalent to what school would be teaching but we have an opportunity to create a tailor made education for our children. Do we take it?
I now have the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with Daniel. It is a new opportunity, that I haven’t had for some time. I need to use it wisely. Read how this came about
We cannot afford to just grab good ideas and serve them to our children – we must know what their current needs are and how we can best meet them, we must know which resources will best meet our current goals.
The first thing I look at when assessing where to go next is my chart – Development of an Independent Learner. Which aspect is the most important thing for this child – any resource I choose must serve their need – is it character and relationship building, is it the beginning to read skills or developing a love of learning, is it developing study skills or are they ready to study independently on the subjects close to their hearts?
Next thing I look at is their interests and learning styles. I haven’t studied a great deal on these but I do know that Daniel likes interactive, hands on and short lessons, as opposed to my older children who were happy to listen and write.
The other thing I look at is the resources I have on hand – will any of these meet my goals. Grass so often looks greener on the other side – resources online look far more exciting and successful than what I have already bought. I like to give what I have a shot otherwise I make unwise decisions based on discontent. If it doesn’t work – fine – then I’ll look further afield.
I find myself in a place ready to start a new unit – so this morning I assessed some needs.
1. Daniel needs to consolidate his reading, and develop better sentence structure both in oral and written contexts. This will be a very long journey for him, but I want to address it for a short season and then move onto something else.
2. Daniel still needs spoonfuls of the big-wide world introduced to him in snippets to keep it interesting.
3. Daniel loves to listen to stories.
I find on my shelf:
Language and Thinking for Young Children – this will give us an opportunity to work with his language – both oral and written though we will focus on oral initially. Some of it will be below his level some of it will be just right. It won’t last us a whole year but it will give us a break from full-on phonics.
I gave Daniel a choice of 4 books to see which topic he would like to study for a while. It ended up a tight choice between Armstrong/Moon and Wright Brothers. Neil Armstrong won. We will read a few stories, I have a dvd on the topic, and we will see where it goes from there. I am not planning too much – we’ll read, ask questions, give narrations, and create notebook pages or any other projects that pop up along the way.
I don’t know how long these goals will last for Daniel – it will depend on his growth, development and interest but for now we have a very clear purpose set in front of us.
Read more about choosing resources / curriculum on my website