Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A day of interest-led learning for a kindergartner

Last night, as I planned for today, I listed:
For Luke: practice piano kindly, read aloud, and play with a friend.
For Pete: stories, play outside, a nap
For Carrie: exercise, the essentials (scriptures and prayer, I've just begun calling them "the essentials" so that I'll think of them as essential.)
For the family: return overdue books, empty dishwasher and keep the kitchen clean

So, I didn't plan any lessons. I just let nature take its course. Here is what we've (they've) done so far:
Piano Practice -when he dawdled, I sang quietly, "I will be kind, I will be kind." I think Luke liked it.
Play-doh (my only job was to pretend to eat something every now and then and avoid the kitchen where I would inevitably say, "No, you can't use that apple corer/lemon zester/pie server." I did take away the mesh strainer, though.)
Rhymes with lists of rhyming words. We were talking and one of us said, "box" or "fox," and Luke said, "Hey that rhymes!" He then made up a verse:
Fox box wearing socks.
Hawks flying overhead!
Then, I said, "Wait, I'll go get paper!" And we wrote down words that rhymed with fox, box, and hawks and had a mini-phonics lesson, made up of me saying, "Hey look--the ah sound is made by the letter O, and AW, and just an A sometimes. And then "x" says the same sound as "cks." But this had to be quick, but Luke was more interested in actually making up rhymes, of course. *Remember--Real and meaningful experiences yield skills, skills practice or teaching can, but doesn't necessarily, yield real and meaningful experiences.

Then we made up other rhyming verses together.
Trees bees in a hive
At the flowers they arrive.
When the sun is in its sky,
All the bees will buzz and fly.
To the flowers they will go
Carrying pollen to help them grow.
In this verse and the "Fox box" one, Luke's contributions are in blue. I was pleasantly surprised that his rhyme for hive was arrive.

In the next one, I wrote most of it, but when I paused, after pink, Luke piped up, "As pink as a rose!" What a cutie.
Up, up in the sky
Kites and balloons flying high.
The spring wind blows across my nose.
My cheeks are pink --as pink as a rose.
Outside all day in the sun
I'm so glad that Spring has come.

I pretended to be a witch and carried the boys on my broom to my gingerbread house where I wanted to fatten them up. "What can I tempt you with, my pretty? Will you eat icecream, chocolate chip cookies, a juicy steak?" It didn't matter what I said, Luke said, "No," because he understood that I was trying to make him plump for eating. but each time Luke said, "No" or "Uh-uh." Pete quietly and resolutely said, "Yes."

We read stories, had lunch, Pete took a nap, and Luke and I started another book, The Trumpet of the Swan. I adore that book. I read it to Luke when he was four, but he's forgotten it. Goody! That means we have to read it again.

Now Luke is playing at a friend's house.

From this former school teacher's perspective, we did something in each of these subjects: Reading and literacy, drama, social studies, music, and math. (Math-this book.)

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