“Somebody stole my snowball,” he yelled, in the middle of a snow-covered yard. Tulip loves the outdoors in any season. He also likes his schoolwork and finishes quickly while retaining most things. He reads a lot, really loved Math Sticks, and is fascinated with science and geography. He is a determined young fellow. His sister taught him to read one summer using our “Let Me Read” program (it’s easy and fun to teach with). In his spare time, Tulip likes to borrow a calculator and play “inventory” or “catalogue shopping” by writing out lists of numbers and items.
Lessons we have learned:
1. Sometimes it is more effective for learning to separate the quieter students from the younger, chatterbox ones, not just in another area of the same room. Example, Tulip’s desk went to my kitchen/office area where I was for a period of time. He was then motivated to not talk constantly and was rewarded by being able to sit in on “big kid” group time which had some advanced topics he had some interest in. (Meanwhile, our high schoolers could also have a “quiet corner” inside a safety gate area so our other young children couldn’t pull computer cords or correction tape. The preschoolers were free to roam and their older siblings were inside the penned area.) With this situation as a whole, we learned some ways to balance the natural needs of both young children and teens.
2. Outdoor time for boys is especially important! After Tulip (second son) came, we greatly increased our goals of taking more time outdoors, even though we already were purposely trying to do more outdoors. What fun it is to explore, run with a wagon, throw a ball, peel bark to make a fence post or just stand still to watch the birds and clouds!
3. Project-based learning is a good idea as it provides a measure of independent choices within the assignment. Natural leaders love this kind of flexibility because it doesn’t hold them “in a box” of standardized learning but rather, offers a good kind of freedom to dig deeper or express understanding in their own way.
“I want to get THAT kind of flower!” announced our preschool/kindergarten-aged son at a garden nursery, a few years ago. “I love those yellow flowers and want them in MY garden.”
Yes, those were dandelions. We helped him change to planting marigolds instead. He is a little helper and also an eager student who was delighted to tell Daddy he had already finished his first reader. He continues to be very studious.
Lessons we have learned:
- Ideas and things that can help young students with vision challenges.
2. Some of our curriculum books are being produced in a slightly larger print (and some updated graphics), partly for his sake and partly because my computer can do more than it could when we began PSLC and the result looks great.
He loves to paint, colour, play with math manipulatives with his brothers and sisters, eat snacks, run, sing when we’re trying to talk, etc. He had a very cute made-up long song that he sung throughout the grocery store one day, aisle after aisle, all about broccoli, yogurt, and more. As a preschooler, he could recite the book called Building a House quite clearly and likes books about machines and vehicles. He also likes to learn the “trades” by not just watching tradespeople or Daddy intently but also re-constructing our house when we’re not looking! He’s very smart and likes to “school” too. If only I can keep a step or so ahead of him – he’s very energetic and still gets into things fast! I can imagine that, if allowed, he’d be one to try to finish his schoolwork before breakfast and then want more to do when we begin our day!
About Sweet Pea:
This is our little surprise addition. She likes to copy her brothers and sisters. She provides lots of laughs and exercise for us since she knows how to climb, play with water, dig through drawers, and press buttons on a computer. Sweet Pea absolutely loves pets (e.g. maaa-maaa’s/goats and “shhhh” (fish”). She also loves to paint, learn to read, sing, etc.!
(Credits: The flower paintings were done by each of the namesakes when we were relaunching our website.)