(Attention Thursday Quick Tips readers: This tip is a little wordy. I was actually just writing this post as a regular rant-and-rave post, but then decided to link it up. The actual tip is at the end if you want to skip over the mumbo-jumbo.)
Lately, our school just hasn't been fun. We are accompishing a lot on a daily basis with the necessaries. We do lots of reading, lots and lots of writing, grammar, spelling, and some pretty difficult math (our curriculum has the kids doing double digit math and subtraction in their heads ... HARD!). And we have managed to stick to our guns in making nature a priority, which has been a real joy in our week.
But by the end of the day we are kind of worn out. We grab our unit study, but really just want to be done for the day so don't give it all we've got. We have done some seasonal studies and have supplemented with Five in a Row. But, I'm not too excited about it, and the kids aren't either.
Sometimes I get annoyed when we are doing schoolwork because Eli will constantly interrupt me to talk about geography. If we are reading a story set in Italy, he can't hardly concentrate on what we were doing because of his interest in the country itself. (I know I sound like a horrible mother and teacher by being annoyed at something like this. It's my schedule-based personality.)
And then I realized, we just need to study geography. They love it. Why not make it our concentration? I actually have a couple of geography units planned next anyway (Nigeria and Indonesia) because of an upcoming play we want to attend and a product we are reviewing for The Crew. So why not just pick a country or a state or a city and spend a week learning about it?
I have always believed in Delight-Directed Learning. But for whatever reason I have us sitting at the table for far too long each day.
Today I had the kids tell me a list of places they want to study. Then I had them give me a list of activities they would like to do to learn about those places. It warmed my heart when Eli's first request was to read about it and take picture walks in the more complicated books. Because, to me, reading is the most important way to learn something. They also wanted to learn about the foods, education, religion, monuments, and to do a map of each place. (They love maps!)
The Quick Tip for this Thursday: Pay attention to your kids. They will tell you the best way to educate them.
Hopefully this will bring the fun back into our schooling. Could it be what you are needing, too? Check with Marcy at Ben and Me to see what other great tips you can pick up.