Friday, October 17, 2014

Some plans don't work

This was to be one of the weeks that we did our five in a row style activities with a picture book. I had the book and the plans and I was ready. What I was unprepared for was the reaction. I had thought they would all be excited about setting our workbooks aside and reading a new book and doing activities. I had thought wrong. There were complaints right off the bat. The little girls in particular were rather upset that they didn't get to do their workbooks. Grudgingly, they sat down to listen to the new story. I thought for sure once we were reading the story they would become excited.

The book was, The Giraffe Who Walked to Paris, by Nancy Milton. I thought it was good. It is a retelling of a true story about a giraffe that is a gift from the pasha of Egypt to the King of France to promote goodwill between their countries. The giraffe then needs to get to Paris. After a voyage by ship across the Mediterranean, the Giraffe then walks from Marseilles to Paris. I thought for sure everyone would love it.

Well, I just wrong all across the board. They listened to it the first time, but were not entranced by it. They still complained that we hadn't done any workbooks even after we started the story. And no one wanted to listen to it a second day, even though I insisted. The activities were even less well received.

So on Wednesday, I threw in the towel and went back to workbooks. Everyone was happy. I was left wondering if I needed to rethink my bigger school plan. Here's what I've decided. My experiences from last year tell me that the success or failure of this venture is highly dependent on the book. Some books we read last year they loved and couldn't wait to read again. Others, they didn't love and it was not as successful. (Though I didn't have outright rebellion like I did this week. I think that's due to everyone being older and liking their current school work.) Since not every book worked for us last year, I'm going to try a couple more times. I think they will like the books I have planned. Of course, I thought they would like the giraffe book. We'll see if it is just a mismatch between book and children or if it is a style of learning that just doesn't fit anymore.

If it just doesn't fit, I will admit to being a little sad. I've loved sharing these books and doing projects. I think I just really like teaching the preschool age. This is the first time I've "run out" of them. It's good that they grow and mature; it's what they're supposed to do... but, still... It's right up there with noticing that G. does not always reverse her letters and write backwards all the time anymore. I told J. the other day that you can tell she is #10. In an earlier child, say #1 or #2, consistent backwards writing might have caused me concern, but in this one, I was just charmed and was 99.9% sure that it would straighten itself out. It is, and I will miss the backwards writing. 


Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

I can relate, both to being more into a project than the kids, and to "running out" of littes. :)

Anonymous said...

its so funny about the backwards letters…my son has stopped doing this after years…my daughter who is 6 only does this with numbers when she is tired..I love you are willing to reevaluate their interests/learning styles. My children are unschoolers at heart. I myself would be content as a child to do workbooks and to read alone. I like things that have a spot. Like a workbook. There are nice little blanks to be filled in or colored or traced. My kids however learn better by being read to and watching videos and hands on.

My 9 year old would rather claw his eyes out before do a workbook. Even today on a saturday he asked to do some "higher number" division problems. I could have printed them off the web site, but instead he prefers for me to write out problems on lined paper sideways.

My daughter loves to draw and draw and draw. so i get her videos and books on drawing. She could care less about the history of drawing.

I have found letting them take the lead has provided the most results in our home:)


Lucy said...

My 4 year old writes numbers and letters backwards only occaissonally, but I was a little surprised the other day when he was playing with his foam letter and numbers (dense foam bath toys) and had laid every single one of them out - backward.

It's not just when they write it.

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