Rants & Raves
Logistics 101: How do I do it?
Everyone does is differently and that’s perfectly OK. Actually, that’s part of the beauty of it. We do what works best for our family. We do what’s best for each child as we grow to understand their personal learning styles and needs. Does that mean that I cater to or coddle my kids? No. There are still specific requirements and expectations that I impose. But, their individual methods and pace of accomplishing their work differs. One child is completely driven and self motivated. One is polar opposite. (The third is just starting so I’m not quite sure about him yet — so far, he seems to be hot or cold.) They all enjoy learning, but in different formats. That said, it can be frustrating at times. I’ve had to let go (for my sanity and theirs) that one child may finish by 2pm and the other not until close to dinner because she needs more time to to transition between activities.
In sharing my strategies, daily schedules and general thoughts, don’t let it cause stress or anxiety. What I do may not work for you. But, my hope is that you can glean something for yourself even if it’s to affirm that what you’re currently doing is best for you.
- Sample schedules –
Kindergarten (Preschool transitioning to Kindergarten)
- Chore chart — These are everchanging. While I try to follow a system we seem to get off track from time to time. Each year (or sooner if needed) I revise the chart to meet our needs.
- Field trips — Learning opportunities surround us and we try to explore the community as part of our learning. Some of our field trips are formal, structured events and some are not. Sometimes they fit directly with what we’re studying and sometimes they don’t (as a result of having children at different ages, studying different things). Hopefully these will give you some ideas on ways to explore your own community.
- The Richmond Symphony (They offer 2 programs annually)
- The Science Museum of VA (And we use the recipricol program to visit science museums in other cities)
- The Richmond Times Dispatch (Check out your local newspaper.)
- The Virginia Historical Sociey (They offer a variety of free programs. We’ve enjoyed Westward Expansion, Revolutionay Times, Pocahontas, Civil War)
- Montpelier, the home of James Madison
- VA Air and Space Museum
- Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Picasso, Chihuly)
- State Fair of VA
- Mount Vernon
- Lancaster, PA
- New York City
- Niagra Falls
- Toronto, Canada
- Carter Mountain Apple Orchard
- Westmoreland Berry Farm
- Olympus Berry Farm
- Hanover Vegetable Farm
- Year Book — Last year, this was a year long project for my 5th grader. She worked on themes, layouts, writing copy, and learning to use Snapfish for editing and producing the book. (Link to the final product coming soon.)
- Book Report Group — I established a group of several families who meet four times per year so the kids can present reports of various kinds. Some are traditional book reports. Some do a research based topical report. We’re flexible in format, allowing the parent to set guidelines for their students. My thought was simply to create an audience so my children would experience some form of public speaking. The kids LOVE book reports. They enjoy planning and preparing their own as well as hearing from their peers. There’s also a social element to it and often foods are brought in for demonstrations and tasting. (Examples: Apples for the presention on Steve Jobs, Goat Cheese samples for the book report on Heidi, Poutine to try with the Canadian report, Ice cream for the Turkey Hill/Ice Cream production Report, etc.) Pictures — coming soon!
- Missions and Service Learning
- Other Projects
Q&A: Ask the Kids