I have to admit- I am a bit of a curriculum junkie. There’s just something about choosing a program, figuring out how it works, and planning it out that is cathartic for me. However, sometimes the best laid plans are just that- plans. And that’s OK.
We do most of our schooling family-style so we are always evolving and finding new ways to meet our goals- even when that means scraping something and starting anew. Last week, while working through a history lesson, I realized Ellie wasn’t into it at all. Slouched in her chair, eyes focused away, she ultimately told me it was hard to understand and wasn’t the least bit interested in what was happening in the Indus Valley thousands of years ago. I get that. We put away the books and played.
Later we talked. I told her I thought we should find something to touch on weekly that is in the “social studies” arena and that I wanted her input in choosing that. I explained it was important we learn about people, places, things that happened in the past, and things that are happening now with communities. We decided together, with her sister, that we would pivot and learn about geography and culture instead.
A New Plan
I made a new plan (which felt good to me- gosh I love printing off maps to color!) and the next day we dipped our toes into this new endeavor. This morning Ellie started off the day asking to do geography and that’s just what we did.
We colored our maps on the porch, watched videos about how they make maple syrup in Vermont and about lighthouses in Maine.
We talked about my childhood in New Jersey and out trip to New York a few years ago to visit Aunt Fran. We did a painting tutorial of lighthouses at sunset.
On our way back from the pool this afternoon, Ellie started telling Grayson about all the New England states- about how they are coastal and that the first settlers came there- that its colder there than here because it’s farther from the equator. She recited each state from memory. She even started calculating how long it would take to travel to these places based on how many miles away they are and the average speed of our car.
It’s all about child-led learning
This is what child-led learning is all about. It isn’t just a buzz-word. It’s a way of life and it’s the most natural way to learn. So, next time your child resists- listen to them. Partner with them. I promise, the results are well worth it.