Friday, October 23, 2009


My wonderful plans for first grade with my Little Son have ended up needing some tweaking.  : )  I was so excited to get started but after the first couple of weeks he just wasn't enjoying it.
So I went back over my plans and decided that I would include more of the Thomas Jefferson Education principles to our day and see if that would help him.
We still start with a circle time where we recite our morning verse and he has it memorized now. It is so fun to hear him share it all on his own.  We do say it together but its fun to know that he can say it by himself.  Then we still recite a couple of other poems together that have to do with the season.
What I have changed is: After devotional I head down with the three younger kids and we have Kidschool.  Which is a time that I share with them something I have been learning about.  For this month it has been drawing with block crayons, Scotland, Forest habitats, English grammar, and Waldorf Math.  Each day I share one of these areas with them.
Then we separate into our individual studies.  I start out helping my Little Son with his reading lesson.  I had to change the story from the little garden flower because dear Little Son didn't like the idea of the children living home and going away from there mother.  So I changed it to a knight who is going on a Quest for the King.  The King has wanted to learn to read but doesn't know how.  There is an evil sorcerer who took all the knowledge away in hopes of  being able to gain control of the kingdom.  So our Knight Sir George the Brave, decides that he will go on this quest to find all the different letters and the knowledge of being able to read.  He is hoping to also be able to learn how to read along the way. : )
So I will read a fairy tale with him about one of the letters that we are working on.  The stories are collected by the knight on his travels and it is usually given to him by one of the characters from the story.  When the dwarf, or whichever character it might be at the time, gets to the end of the story he hands the knight a special card which has the letter on it.  The knight just has to figure out which letter it is.
I made these on index cards. I have one with a picture on it and then another one with the letter on it that I hide somewhere in the room for dear Little Son to find.  
On the back of the swan picture I have written the word swan and on the back of the letter card I write as many three letter words as I can think of that start with the letter S.  We try and go over these words together every day.
Then the next day I will have him tell me about the story we shared the day before and then I will share a little verse that the knight makes up to help him remember the letter and the sound that the letter makes.
A sneaky old snake slithered along the ground.  As he slid through the swamp he heard a small sound. He rounded the bend and, to his surprise,  he received a grand prize.  Six singing slugs and a symphony of snails.
They are a bit silly but he really has been enjoying them.  We made a journal for him and I try to have him write something in it each day -- either about his day or I will have him copy a line down from our little verse.  He really likes working in his math workbook, which blows my mind.  What I would like to do is have him do his workbook some days and then on other days have him work on Waldorf based math with me.
Well, that is what our days have turned into -- more or less. I feel so grateful for the freedom to be able to make the changes I need to fit this to his personality.  I wanted to share this because it seems that real life happens and its okay!!! Many times plan B might end up being even better in the long run.  : )


Lisa said...

We are always tweaking too, especially in the math department. Love the cards, what a beautiful way to learn.


Tan Family said...

What an amazing post! Thank you for sharing not only the wonderful things that you are doing at home, but also for showing the importance of listening to our children and adapting our homelearning, as needed. You are such a good mommy and teacher! :)

I love your letter cards.

Jen said...

Hi Jane, I really enjoyed this post & agree with you that sometimes our best intended plans lead us to something that we didn't expect, but working with it, instead of fighting it, leads us to even more amazing experiences. I have to say that I LOVE your artistry and pictures. My gosh - you are everso talented! I would LOVE to purchase some index cards the way you draw them. They are stunning & I'd love to see more of them. I am a huge TJ Ed fan, as well. I love to see how you incorporate it in your HS. Thanks for sharing - it's a pleasure & I'm going to link your blog to the 1st grade blogs I'm following :D

Take care, my friend!

Jane said...

I was a little nervous about posting "Tweaking" thank you so much for all the lovely comments! Hmmn it would be fun to make some cards to sell, thanks for the idea Jen and for your lovely comment. I will have to work on that : )