Monday, May 07, 2012

An update on Jack's office

I haven't written much about our office adventures lately. Mostly, that's because we haven't been working in the office much lately. Between play dates, soccer class, preschool, and cleaning, we haven't spent a lot of time in "the office".

We also haven't spent much time in the office because of what happens when we are in there. The last few times I've tried to get Jack interested in an "office" (Montessori) activity, he tries to jump on the bed or rearrange the furniture instead. I try not to get frustrated, and I certainly don't try to force him to do anything. We usually just go to the basement and play or do laundry instead.

I did get him to do a picture punch-out activity once that was fun. Basically, he uses a push-pin to make little holes along a black outline of a shape. Once there are holes all the way around the shape, you can punch out the shape, like a perforated piece of paper. It teaches him how to hold a pencil correctly. We both really liked it the first time we did it. But when I tried it again, he wasn't as interested.

One thing I have noticed lately is how much he remembers from our Ocean Animals week way back in February. He still talks about jellyfish and their feeding arms and stinging tentacles. This has me thinking more about what kinds of things we do in the "office". I really like the Montessori activities. And I really like the classroom setup. And I really like the Montessori philosophy of observing the child and guiding him based on his interests and abilities. But I think Jack likes more content, not just skills.

Maybe I'm on to something here, my professional educator friends. Or maybe I'm just rediscovering what great teachers already know. My kid loves to learn about the world around him (also a Montessori idea). He wants to be able to work in that world, but more than anything, he loves to know "stuff". He wants to talk about interesting topics. I think it's much more interesting for him to count octopus legs than it is to count pennies in cups.

So, I had let the "office" work lapse because I wasn't interested in making Jack hate going in there and I didn't really know how to keep him interested while we were there. But I have some new ideas now. I found an interesting site through Pinterest called Homeschool Share that has a bunch of free printables  and lesson ideas that go with popular children's books. The site is a homeschool curriculum of literature-based units. You can see why I might like that, right?

At this point, I feel like I can combine what I like from Montessori with the theme ideas from earlier to create some fun things for us to do together.

On a related note, Steve and I did make a decision regarding Jack's preschool for next year. He's going to stay at Sleepy Hollow. Hooray!

1 comment:

Pied Pawper said...

Love to see Jack loving to learn. :) Maybe he sees learning as something natural, and not to be done in any specific place but to be done everywhere. Teachable moments, etc.

I'm so glad to see you writing more. Keep it up!

~ Jessi