Posts Tagged ‘My Father’s World’

One of the things that I am finally getting a grip on is that Pookie will take longer to teach than Little Miss has done. Yes, I always knew it in my head but my heart was another issue. In many ways, Pookie is showing a lot of intelligence. There are other areas however where extra time and work is greatly needed. So, with that in mind, I am doing something a bit different this next term.

A fact that I have come to realize is that Pookie loves to be kept busy. Yes, he does like some down time, but overall, he is happiest when he is occupied with something. I have purposely kept his number of workboxes per session down to about 4-5 activities. I felt that would exhaust his attention span. He is teaching me a different way of thinking. Depending on the activities he is doing, there are days when he wants to do more. He loves variety and does show a great aptitude for catching on to new things. Given too much down time, he actually gets bored and cranky. I honestly believe that he enjoys the challenge of the lessons some days. Maybe not every lesson, but I do see the excitement quite often. Academically, if you look at the overall picture, he is still solidly in the preschool level. Conceptual learning and abstracts are still out of his realm of understanding. So, instead of going from Pre-K to 1st grade he is going to do Kindergarten.

I love the Heart of Dakota curriculum that we have been using. He seems to enjoy it as well. The only problem that we have is that it goes by too quickly for him. The entire program for each day only takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the hands-on activity he does that day. Pookie needs more than that. He needs more activities to reinforce what he is learning. As I was reading through Sue Patrick’s book, The Workbox System: A User’s Guide, I was reminded of her ideas for giving her son several activities that each taught the same concept. While each may contain the same information, the different approaches helped the child to grasp and retain the information better.

So, with that in mind, here are my thoughts on how to proceed with Pookie. First, continue with a Pre-K/Kindergarten level until I am sure he has mastered the information. To me, that is common sense. You cannot built a sturdy home on a shaky foundation. Your child’s academic progress is no different. They need that same solid foundation to progress effectively. What I am changing up is how I go about his education. This upcoming term, I will be blending two similar curricula into one as well as continuing with Montessori styled activities.

My Father’s World Kindergarten program is very good with teaching the basics, such as the alphabet and numbers. In many ways, it reminds me of a good Pre-K curriculum. There are worksheets and hands-on activities for Pookie to do each day. They spend an entire week on each letter of the alphabet to help insure that the child is learning the letter and it’s sound.

Heart of Dakota’s Little Hearts for His Glory program is for children ages 5-7 years old. It covers all the basic school subjects, including science and history. There are plenty of hands-on activities as well. In the teacher’s guide, there are options to the math and reading/phonics program. Here is where blending the two curricula will work.

In the mornings, Pookie will be doing the My Father’s World curriculum.  We will be working on lapbooks that correspond to the week’s lesson theme as well.  Being as this curriculum is the gentler approach of the two, it will be perfect for mornings when Pookie is the most active and preferring a lot of hands-on projects.

In the afternoons, we will be doing the Heart of Dakota program.  By afternoon, Pookie is ready for that cuddle time with me on the couch as I read to him.  As we go through the books, I ask him to point out various items in the pictures to be sure he is paying attention to the details.  Because he had all morning to get the wiggles out of his system, he will be more ready in the afternoon to work on those few assignments that require him to sit at the table or desk.

Intermittently throughout the day, he will have two 15-minute breaks in the morning and again in the afternoon to free play or simply chill out.  He will also have a snack break halfway through the morning and again halfway through the afternoon, in addition to his lunch break.  Each of these curriculum programs are short in duration each day.  Even doing both, Pookie will not be overwhelmed.  I will always have the option to scale back a bit and do each program at half-speed if needed.  This is just another way of saying that I will take two days to complete a single day’s lessons for each program.  It would take twice as long to complete the programs, but with Pookie, we cannot do long breaks anyways.  The longer time period for completing the programs would work in his favor.

Montessori style activities will always be a part of his day for years to come.  He thrives on the hands-on learning.  Through it, he is able to show his knowledge and understanding.  They also address his need for sensory input each day.  From sensory bins to sorting activities and beyond, Pookie will have plenty of things to do that will stimulate his senses and broaden his learning opportunities

There are many adaptations that I still am making to worksheets in order for Pookie to be able to do them successfully. I will post some of those ideas in an upcoming blog. Many of the adaptations are similar to past ones, such as turning cut and paste activities into file folder games. There are a few new ones however that may give ideas for you to try.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming school term.  I have tentatively planned to start the new term in June, after we get back from a church youth camp.  Now that I have a good sense of what Pookie’s homeschool routine will be, I am working on Little Miss’ curriculum plans in more detail.  Both she and Pookie are getting curious about what they will be learning.  Every so often, I take out a hands-on element from their upcoming term so they can explore it a little.  It is capturing their curiosity and interest in a big way.  Pookie is especially showing interest in doing the Melissa and Doug Beginners Pattern Block Puzzles.  I am enjoying watching his excitement towards learning.  As long as their is interest and excitement, he is guaranteed to learn, which in turn gives me much hope for his future.

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