21 August 2009

Wherever the children go I'll follow them

I am a list maker. I have been ever since I was young. My friends and family make fun of me and my list, but hey, I get things done (usually). As a teen, I took great pleasure in marking off even the morning routine of -getting up, -use bathroom, -take shower, etc..

Well, of course I approached homeschooling with same organizational and detailed thinking assuming that I absolutely had to write everything down. I have blocks of unit plans, folders of printed standards, bookmarks of ideas, and a huge calendar with classes and workshops. Don't get me wrong, most of the plans are brilliant, designed to stimulate creativity and discovery, but I have to admit that there is still something better than obsessing over crossing things off the list. Last minute field trips, following our own questions, and pursuing our own interests have proven expediently more valuable than my best made plans.

I can't decide what my favorite lesson was this week: Playing soldier at a friend's house, an impromptu visit to the Tennessee Ag. Museum, Zoo class wherein we followed a map, made up a Continent song, identified the continents on the map, used symbols, or just stayed at home finishing subtraction books and baking bread from China in conjunction with our study of the Great Wall of China.

All of these loosey-gossey, follow the kids plans go against my grain, but I can see the sparks flying, the uninhibited question asking, and the skills that they are developing. Oh my.