Monday, December 4, 2006

Getting Back Into The Groove

Okay, today we start easing back into a more structured learning environment. My surgery forced me to completely do the observation that is recommended in the Enki guides, and my biggest observation is that the boys don't thrive on pure freedom. When I am in bed all day I am not acting as the container for the day. The get tired of doing things that only they can come up with and orchestrate. They miss having me as their guide.

I posted about a holiday block late last month. Thursday I finalized our plan. I based everything around The Seven-Year-Old Wonder Book by Isabel Wyatt. We started the book months ago and never finished it. I would have just let the book go, but T-Guy in particular has asked to finish it. The book has many Christmas stories in it, so it is a good fit and makes the task of finding Christmas tales less difficult for me.

Based on where we were in the book, we read one story last Friday. We'll read and work with 3 stories a week for 3 weeks, then the week between Christmas and New Year we'll read the final 3 stories without actually working them (I want to keep the momentum and finish the book, but don't want formal lessons during the week Papa is home).

Each morning we'll walk around the block, sing some holiday songs, then do our main lesson work. We're simply reintroducing the three-fold cycle of intake-sleep-output. Each lesson morning we'll recall the previous story, draw a picture from it, and write a short sentence or verse. Today we drew Sylvia's fairy tree and wrote the words SYLVIA'S FAIRY TREE. We were transitioning to using lowercase letters during grade 1, but this month the focus is getting the writing done and not having to contract so tight to write in lowercase.

Quiet time has been going well, so we'll add on cleaning their room for 15 minutes after quiet time, and we'll formalize a small snack at this time, if needed. I've noticed that they usually grab a snack before quiet time, even though they had lunch 30 minutes prior.

For practice we will do handwriting and reading, as well as simple math manipulatives and games. Since we'll be writing during the main lesson our writing practice will be numbers. We have 9 lessons planned for the block, so we'll combine 0 and 1. We will be working on remembering the verses as well as the actual writing.

For crafts we'll make holiday gifts and cards, model with beeswax, bake, and do handwork.

I've settled having structured lessons 3 days a week. We probably could buckle down and do more, but I want us to have more unstructured time for real life living and learning. If it doesn't work out we have Thursdays free to add lessons to. We will read our nature story on Tuesdays, during our normal practice time.

I still have a lot of planning to do. I need to plan the next block. Since Enki doesn't have all of the sage stories ready I will either have to change my choice (MLK Jr.) or go it alone. I haven't decided yet what to do.


  1. I love doing three day work weeks. :ike you said it allows you the flexibility to add in a day here and there or to take advantage of things out and about town. It works well for us.

    I dont think Enki does MLK. I could be wrong but I thought there was too much socio-politcal depth to his story that was too difficult for that age to really sink into. Double check though, I dont have all my brain cells in tact so I dont want to say that I know that for sure. There are a lot of children's biography style works on his life though. Im sure you could put together a nice block and just go as deep as you feel your boys can handle.

  2. I love reading about the grades in enki; keeps me inspired. we're juts doign kindergarten but I've found I need 3 "structured" days and 1 or 2 days that are much freer, for spontaneous trips, playdates, relaxing days, etc.