Sunday, October 25, 2009

Active Mind + Catalog = Tons of Ideas

As I mentioned somewhere on here, we are intending to homeschool the Things. I have been researching and changing my mind 8 thousand times on different things. At first I wanted to follow the exact listings in The Well-Trained Mind. Then I realized that I wanted to be able to spend more time on certain topics, which the rotation of that particular system doesn't really allow.

So I came up with my own agenda for what to study which years. I asked Link what subject he thinks needs more emphasis, and I was surprised to hear him say Science. However, he specifically stated he thinks a more hands-on approach would be better. We never got to fully ENJOY Science because we were always being bogged down with the books. Chemistry was a fun year for me because of the experiments, but I never really understood the concepts. They didn't seem connected very well. When I took Physics... well, I am horrible with Math so it was a bad time. I managed to pass thanks to a couple friends who would dumb things down for me and explain them in less mathematical terms.

At any rate, he and I discussed it a bit more. I explained how Science was laid out in The Well-Trained Mind, and he said he specifically thought more time should be spent on Biology. Because soooo many things are covered in Biology, he thought that the approach in the classical system wasn't good enough. (it talks about covering Botany, the human body and animals all in one year)

Yes, Thing 1 is just barely getting ready to turn 5, but I want things to build up a bit as he is schooled. In order to do that, I have to decide where I want him going in schooling and planning accordingly. Yes, pulling Anatomy and Physiology out of Biology may be a bit strange. But I really think that it needs to be covered in depth, and not just as a ten week unit brushing through everything. I found a Botany unit in the Rainbow Resource catalog that I really want to use.

Speaking of Rainbow Resource, that catalog is huuuuge. And gave me TONS of ideas. Just how am I supposed to make all of these ideas reality though?

The solution I have found is WORKBOXES! Yes, the system put together by Sue Patrick involves 12 boxes with assignments and fun things in them organized in the order you want them covered each day. I have been reading TONS of blogs about them, and a lot of other homeschoolers have loved that they can pull out things they've been collecting to use but never had time for.

The workboxes also allow the child to develop more independence. Because they are left with the 12 boxes and their schedule, they aren't as likely to consistently watch the clock. They are able to transition more easily from one subject to the next because everything they need is in the box. Many people have said that things get done faster now because there isn't that awful transition time between subjects where you're looking for materials.

And it will also make me accountable. As you may have guessed, I have difficulty holding myself accountable for things. If I have 12 empty boxes sitting there staring me in the face waiting for more things to go into them for the next day, I don't have a choice but to fill them. As long as I don't decide to just do a school day without the boxes and "wing it" I should be fine.

Thing 1 is already fiercely independent. He gets himself breakfast in the morning and goes about his day. If he needs something he asks (50 times in the span of a minute). I think this system will work really really well for him.

I need to get a copy of the book for myself to read all of the reasoning and everything behind the system. I can honestly say though, that even without all of the information and details, I really think this will work.

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