Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Day 99 -- time with Paddy

I didn't log yesterday but Kieron completed pretty much everything on his list. Paddy didn't do any academics yesterday -- but today we had a nice little learning time together.

First he did a bit of handwriting and read some of the pages (from Handwriting without Tears). Then he asked to do math. We worked on several pages -- he chose the 100's. He made up a game to do with the robots illustrating the page -- the numbers were their scores so he rated them from weakest to strongest. Basically he is pretty much able to do anything in the MCP Math A book so when we take it out it's just a matter of choosing the ones he wants to do and talking about what it is about.

Then I brought out the Parables from Nature -- a Lesson of Faith. I had been dreading reading this. I first printed out the Parables several years ago during one of my earlier essays into Ambleside, but I'd always skimmed through it and been put off by the rather feminine and Victorian tone of the writing. I thought it would put my bionicle- and -Sonic- aficianado boys off and that it would be embarrassing to read aloud. But I read it and he got that hush that he gets when he is deeply interested. So my skills at predicting what will absorb my kids are not that great -- which is one of my weaknesses when I am trying to unschool. (but on the other hand, it was unschooling that taught me to try things and not be overly invested in whether they "took" or not).

He didn't narrate, but we were talking as we read and I realized he didn't know much about the caterpillar to butterfly process. Then I remembered that I had a caterpillar book in the Stopwatch series I have been reading to him. Butterfly and Caterpillar. To my delight, it is about the exact same cabbage butterfly that was in the parable. So we read it and made comparisons between the facts in the parable and the science in the actual book. Later I found the book beside his empty plate which means he was rereading it while he ate. I thought that was cool -- a natural little mini-unit. And I'm delighted that he was so interested in the little parable.

This is what I'm finding nice about Ambleside. It suits the way we tend to approach things around here. When I do a unit it takes a lot of planning, which I'm not that good at because of my difficulty in decision-making and frameworking, and sometimes I lose interest along the way, or the kids do. And I usually overdo it by gathering too much and then get stressed about deciding between them. But these spontaneous connections and the minimum of good quality readings are just delightful. So, a nice day. I am sure they won't all be like that but when there are some it usually means we are doing someething right!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:12 PM

    I love reading about the things you and Paddy do. He and "Missy" would have a blast hanging out together, reading and stuff.

    It sounds like you've found a balance of things that's a good fit! Ambleside is great. And I am with you on going overboard on planning units. *LOL!*