November 22, 2008

John Holt writes often about providing the materials and then leaving the children to their own devices. This is my basic approach to the preschool curriculum I bought. Following the lessons and order seemed somewhat silly to me, so I have taken to just letting Isaiah "play" with them in any way he wants. He seems to be making much more progress like this anyway. "A" is much more interesting when paired with other letters to make a word. Teaching the letters and shapes in isolation is just so much less exciting.

Today he wanted to learn letters (his phrasing) so he took out the box and then started putting letters together and asking what they said. I joined some letters to make words to help him understand how letters work together to make words and then he took over. He would decide on a word to spell and then look for the letters to make that word. I would show him the letter on another piece of paper so he could identify it in his pile of cards.

I can't wait until the Montessori wood letters come! I think he will have great fun making words with them. I love the idea of precut letters because he doesn't need the fine motor skills to write the letters, but can still read them and make words.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. ~Greg Anderson

November 22, 2008

Art really does seem to be about the process at this stage of development. Yesterday we bought some soft pastels and Isaiah found it intriguing to mix colors and then smooth them out. He also was quite excited when he was able to smooth out all the colors in my picture, but still leave the image intact.
November 21, 2008

Today was a day of errands and DRIVING. Isaiah and Owen were thoroughly finished with the car and needed to have some fun. We bought rolls of white paper to paint for Christmas wrapping paper. They wanted to start that project to relax a bit. So, with an extra large paint brush in hand and a pan of paint... they set off. Messy, but fun!

Isaiah first started with one color, then added a second, and finally mixed all colors together. He is currently very interested in combining things. He did the same with the pastels... but that is the next post.

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we...

...try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
~Maya Angelou

November 19, 2008

I recently bought the Eboo map of the world for Isaiah and Owen. It has been awesome! Isaiah has really taken to it. He is especially curious about the animals that live in different areas of the world. He loves Katy No Pocket and likes to read it over and over next to the map so he can see Australia. The map came with a large key that names the animals, buildings, etc. that can be found on the map. He studies the key and then searches the map for the animal of interest. We just bought a child's encyclopedia of animals and it will be so much fun for him to identify where each animal lives on the map!

I look forward to traveling with my boys and am so excited that they are already developing such a thirst for information about the world.

One father is more than a hundred Schoolmasters. ~George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640

November 17, 2008

Isaiah spent the day on Dad's tractor today!

The human body is not an instrument to be used, but a realm of one's being to be experienced, explored, enriched and, thereby, educated. -Thomas Hanna

Friday 11/14/08

Isaiah explored a few more letters and then decided he was in a creative mood and wanted to paint. We mixed some colors to make new colors and both boys had fun painting with rollers and brushes. As is often the case, Isaiah's painting ended with him in the paint. That lead to some serious bath play though!

Be not the slave of words. ~Thomas Carlyle

Wednesday 11/12/08

Today we looked at some of the letters and worksheets in Sing, Spell, Read, Write, but we certainly were "not the slave[s] of words." Isaiah took a great interested and did identify some letters, but quickly moved on. I took his lead and answered his questions, but did not require him to go beyond his level of interest. He actually likes to look through the box and look for meaningful letters. By meaningful letters I mean letters that are used to spell familiar words such as his and his brother's names. We also toyed with making some simple three letter words by switching around letters.

I also rearranged the house to accommodate Isaiah and Owen a bit more. We had our house on the market and everything seemed to revolve around house showings; I moved toys and books to more convenient and kid-friendly places.


Monday 11/10/08

Well, we started this week off right! We went on an awesome touring plane ride for Isaiah's birthday! All he wanted for his birthday was to take a plane ride... so we took off Monday morning (after having our flight postponed on Friday). We flew up and down the coast, over the Montauk lighthouse, and a few other places we frequent. We all had to talk with earphones and microphones. Both boys had a blast until the landing, which was a little rough and caused the onset of some minor motion sickness.

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts. --Albert Einstein

We are actively providing the opportunity for our children to develop the tools necessary to meaningfully explore their world. We're off!