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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.

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