Last week, we studied the animal kingdom. We talked about what types of animals have backbones, which animals don't. We talked about the animals around the world and practiced our writing. I have to confess that this week's lessons didn't go over as well as I had hoped. For some reason, there wasn't much interest (apparently, the Monk is burned out on doing lessons each and every day, so we've had to cut back and only work on Tuesdays and Thursdays - which is fine. I want him to enjoy learning, not dread it). We did make it to the library and even watched a couple of animal movies (Cats & Dogs and African Cats). Our next unit is dinosaurs, so I know that it will be much more engaging for him. Well, here's hoping anyways.
This lesson went WAY better than India. For this, we used Google Translate to look up the colors of the rainbow and translate them from Japanese into English. We also looked at Obento boxes and how people eat their lunches in Japan (which, btw, I am totally getting a bento box lunch box for my school year in the fall!). We looked at Japanese paper lanterns and the art of origami. There seemed to be a lot more interest in Japanese culture. As I reflect on the teaching process that I am trying to accomplish and the learning process of my son, I think that the more interactive, colorful, and hands on the activities are, the more that he is willing to participate. You would think that, as a middle school teacher for 9 months out of the year, that I would be more aware of how kids learn. And I am. I know EXACTLY how middle schoolers learn and process. But, as a mother trying to instruct her 5 year-old, it is much more different than what I do while teaching in middle school. So - ok. I need to keep the activities
This unit seemed to take some time. For some reason, Monkey didn't really feel like working (maybe because we took the day before off because of the rain and had a PJ day instead). Never take an ADHD child off of their schedule...sigh. However, we were able to do some. We looked at Google Maps to see India and the Taj Mahal. Monk liked it so much that he had to color his own (with Star Wars invading, of course). Then we colored the flag and talked about how the elephant is an animal in India (the Asian elephant, of course). He even sat still long enough for me to try and draw a "henn
Today's topic was Egypt. We went to Google Earth again to look at the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Then we studied how mummies are made and how they are buried. We also tried our hand at making Egyptian barley bread (although we had to use flax rather than barley and I don't think the Monk likes it), writing our names in hieroglyphics, and making papyrus.
The Monkey thought that the way mummies are made is interesting. He likes that they removed the brains from the bodies (so that the zombies couldn't eat it). He also likes the idea of the mummies being buried with gold, but couldn't understand why pirates couldn't go in and steal it.
We have begun to look at the world and some of the countries within. We started out with looking at ourselves and where we fit into the world. This was through a flip book that the Monkey used to start small (with himself) and then see how he fits on the Earth. Then, we went to Google Earth and zeroed in on our house, moving backward through the flip book. He really liked that, especially since he could see the trampoline in our backyard! After, we packed our "bags" and went on a trip to Brazil (this was the country that he received from his monthly subscription to Little Passports). We looked at Brazil on G. Earth and viewed some pictures from Carnaval (most were NOT appropriate, so that didn't last long!) and read about some of the fact about Brazil. He filled in the fast facts book and was shocked by some of the details. It was really fun (we pretended to board an airplane and everything!).
Although I know that a lot of this is a little advanced and that, because of his ADHD we have to take frequent breaks, it's still engaging for him and he seems to be enjoying it. He needs the challenge and the routine. I just hope we can keep up the momentum.
So, here is a bit of a rant that I have. As an educator and a mother, I really want my son to have the best education possible and as much knowledge as his little nugget can hold. I work on lapbooks for him, and we watch nature shows and have long discussions about various topics. And I can find all sorts of resources for homeschooling (printables, worksheets, etc.) but, everything (and I mean pretty much EVERYTHING) seems to be tied to Christianity. Now, I'm not against Christians and I know that faith is important (otherwise, I wouldn't be trying to help my son grow to be a good Buddhist). However, there is practically NOTHING in the way of resources to aide in my quest of giving him an education.Yeah, good for you with your Bible unit studies and cool crafts. I'm glad that there are those resources available for those who need and use them. I just wish that there were as many resources available for us non-Christians. I so much want to make learning about the path to enlightenment engaging for my son. I just wish that
"The mind is everything. What you think, you become." - Buddha
Summer vacation is just around the corner and I am STILL trying to get all the resources I need to have our summer school curriculum all put together. Luckily, I'm not trying to EVERY little thing printed and put into our binder, but I certainly at least want to have the first week ready to go. I have our schedule, our projects, and our themes all planned out. I just need to gather all the crafty supplies and then I will at least be ready for Week One. I know that it is a lot of extra work, but he is completely worth it and I know that it will make him better in the long run. Plus, it will keep both of us busy