It seems so simple now – at the end of August – looking into the school year start of September 2011. The weeks of prayer – research – planning – prayer – a few tears – more prayer – research – planning – and then – as he always does, the plan just sort of came together in a week – and my heart is settled and content.
Delight Directed – Moving from the Grammar Stage to Logic
We are a Delight Directed – Project Based – Relaxed Learning type of a family. Unschooling – only in the respect that our day seldom reflects or is directed by Public School Style – but never Un-Learning, Un-Discovering, Un-Educational. The boys have always had more questions than we have had time to answer – so the Delight Directed ways suited us in the beginning. Following their interests. We will continue with that to a certain extent – but last year and this – I have felt the responsibility to direct their learning – in a way that sparks the fire to deeper learning, and not necessarily the whimsical – “What would you like to do today boys?” way to greet the day each morning.
Moving from the Grammar State into the Logic Stage of learning – I want to offer ideas, literature, and projects that continue to spark the Why questions. If we have had a “Full Day” of learning – I would hope that the following would be touched upon –
- Copy work
- History/Geography, and
- Nature Studies
How this is played out in the day – may change – due to our relaxed learning delight directed project driven ways – I want to provide the tools to have daily practice in these areas – even when we are taking a break from questions posed by the boys – or – allow questions to still be pursued – but having a framework for how to go about the research.
Take Jon age 10 –
I’d like him to work through the Squire and the Scroll, a study of modern day knighthood for boys, challenging them in their moral values – based on Biblical Principals – for how he conducts himself – We will start our days in the workbook.
or – Nathan Age 13-
I’d like his Bible to be the Josh McDowell’s Youth Devotionals, and he enjoys reading the devotionals sent to him daily by a youth pastor that he knew for a few weeks – and to read Psalms and Proverbs daily. If we find a Bible Study that he is interested in – or one that The Crew offers – he can switch to those.
So how does this play out in the day? That’s what I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around – We don’t usually have a Monday – Friday week, as hubby is often off on Tues/Thurs or Thus/Friday. So went with a 5 day rotation.
Days 1-2 – US Presidents
Day 3 – Composers
Days 4-5 Science/Nature
Latin – 3 days per week
Math – 3 days per week
Bible – every day.
So – remembering my full day of learning idea –
If we start with the US Presidents – and have a wonderful time reading the pages, drawing the objects suggested and get excited about the story to research the history of a battle, the creation of an object, the setting of a character – we might spend the entire morning reading, researching, copy working, looking at the maps, copying an experiment. The only thing left for the boys to do might be practice in their individual levels of mathematics.
For the Composers – We will spend the day learning about the composer, reading the lesson, learning where they came from, the history/geography of their life, and researching their work on the internet. Their music will be played throughout the week on the computer while we are reading – or cleaning – or driving. I don’t see a lot of sparked extra learning – but you never know.
Both boys really love all things science – and want to dive into the experiments. We are going to work from the 365 (and more) science experiments – a section at a time, with a conclusion of a science experiment. I saved these for the last 2 days of the week, as they can carry into a Dad’s Day Off – or Weekend – and are usually the projects they beg for me to do. If we do not get to the science days – we may just start the week over, as they have quite a bit of Nature Study even when not doing specific science experiments. We will likely study Latin Roots, copy work, notebooking, logic, reading, research – and math during these days.
If – I am sick – we are wanting a break – I don’t “feel” like being the teacher – then they have many living books and tools on their list to take their time in the morning into an educational direction – with the Writing Books – Social Studies – Spelling – Daily Grams – so that we have a daily disciplined practice.
I am looking forward to a wonderful fall and early winter season of learning – we have talked eagerly and joyfully as a family to these upcoming learning objectives – so far just in the last week we have done a full fledged learning on Snakes and Astronomy – have logged hours of volunteer time, and have spent wonderful time in The Word together. I see us in our reading/seatwork/discussion time from 10-2 every day – with the afternoons spent indulging in the research that we delight in. We just can’t seem to “turn it off”. It’s our life.
Charlotte Mason Education. Quoting CM:
“Education is a life; that life is sustained on ideas; ideas are of spiritual origin, and that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another. The duty of parents is to sustain a child’s inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food.” (Volume 2, pg 39)