Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Unschooling Definitions

Here's a great blog entry about what unschooling is: Nurtured By Love.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Plans for Next Year

I've spent some time looking at kindergarten scope and sequence, from various sources, and thinking about what goals I'd like to have for the fall for Colwyn. These are things that Colwyn won't have any idea of, just things in my head that I'll try to bring up from time to time, to make sure he gets them in the context of his daily life. If we can get everything on this list, then he will be ahead of the game as far as kindergarten is concerned (since I'm sure he'll be learning lots of other things in addition to what's on my list).

Direction of text (reinforcement of left to right reading)
A few sight words (he can already sound out easy 3-letter words)
Fiction vs. non-fiction
Start spelling phonetically
Number sense (that six is more than five, etc)
Numeral recognition beyond ten
Skip counting (by two's, five's, etc)
Number patterns
Time - calendars and clocks
Measurements (length, volume)
Classification of living things

That's pretty much it, really. Everything else on the scope and sequence is stuff he already knows and can do. Clearly I'm hoping to focus more on abilities rather than specific knowledge--I don't care if he wants to learn about the Roman Empire instead of Columbus, but I'd like him to keep up with basic reading and math skills, as well as his understanding of the natural world, and our place in society. And to be honest, a lot of the stuff on the list he's already started working on.. it's just a matter of mastering the skills. I don't think we'll have too much trouble. :)

Keeping Up with Preschoolers

Last March, I posted the World Book scope and sequence for preschool. Here is a list of the things Colwyn had yet to learn and ought to, and a summary of his progress:

*Understands long and short - check!

*Uses left-to-right progression - he's mostly good about this, but still gets mixed up sometimes.. mainly when he's creating words on his own

*Identifies own first name in manuscript - check!

*Prints own first name - he prints his own name if I help him with the ordering of letters

*Understands top, bottom, middle - check!

*Knows birthday - still don't know this

*Is able to hop - check!

*Able to button a garment - check!

*Able to zip a zipper - check!

*Cuts simple shapes - check!

*Handles scissors well - check!

*Can be away from parents for 2-3 hours - yes, so long as he knows the adult well

*Is not afraid to go to school - still irrelevant

*Crosses residential street safely - again.. he would never be doing this own his own, but he knows to watch for cars, and when we're walking in our street, he runs to the sidewalk if he sees a car coming

*Asks to go to school - still irrelevant

*Knows home phone number - we're working on this.. he's doing pretty well

*Likes teachers - still irrelevant

*Meets visitors without shyness - sometimes he's quite shy, other times he isn't

So we've done pretty well.. not that any of this stuff is difficult to learn if you're just living your life. The only thing he has no clue about is his birthday, though he can accurately order everyone's birthdays (ie - he knows it's Daddy's birthday next, then Lachlann's, then Mommy's, then his). Everything else is pretty much set. Considering that he'd still be going to preschool in the fall rather than kindergarten.. I'm pretty confident that we can take it easy when the baby's born. :)