Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grade 4, Lesson 6, Day 4 ~ Adapt the Curriculum to the Child ...

... not the child to the curriculum!

One thing about natural learning is that children pick up knowledge and skills in what is often referred to as a swiss cheese fashion. A child may have in-depth knowledge of Roman history but not read until age 8, or they may understand percentages before they learn their multiplication tables. One benefit of homeschooling is having the time to run with the things your child is interested in when the desire sparks; this is true even if a family doesn't unschool.

This week the OM4 syllabus lesson on science begins a study on seeds. I read that and felt myself deflate like a balloon. Seeds again? We spent part of our nature co-op last year going through the activities in Sow and Grow and we did 8 projects with seeds and growing. The year before that we had our first garden and studied the process in depth. My children aren't urban school children who have never seen a seed sprout and looked at the interior. Indeed, they have done this several times over the years.

Tuesday night I read it again and decided to move science to Thursday this week to give myself more time to acquire the necessary seeds, as if more time was all I needed to make it any more interesting. Last night I filled the main lesson box with the "Main Lesson ~ Science" card and let out a sigh. If I wasn't interested in doing this again how could I expect my children to be interested?

This morning I remembered that the point of my homeschooling is not to make my children fit a curriculum! If I wanted that I could have sent them to public or private school, where practicality requires that they choose one curriculum to use with all the children.

We skipped science this morning. I'm not sure what we'll do for the next few weeks, but we aren't going to sprout seeds again. Maybe we'll look for more advanced material on sprouted seeds with photos under magnification. Maybe we'll plant our Earth Box with fall crops and get our garden going again. Maybe we'll just do a few of the science experiments J-Baby is always itching to do. Whatever it is, it will be something we are excited about.

Workboxes today: Journalling (J-Baby skipped his journal and finished his social studies assignment from yesterday), correcting math errors from yesterday, free reading, making beeswax animals, Draw Write Now, and guitar (they wrote their own songs). Papa also tossed in an extra chapter from A History of US at lunch.

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