29 September 2008

We will not be ordering the duck.

Because I just can't let go and embrace unschooling all the way, I am adding the tiniest bit of structure to satisfy the teacher inside me. I have been looking at curricula for almost three years now: Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, the Well Trained Mind topped my favorites.

What they all have in common is gentleness and appreciation of literature -- even children's books as literature. Each of them is too didactic for me to embrace completely. I like pieces of them ... but I had hang ups, too. Especially as applied to TJ's learning style, none of them fit the bill.

Plus, when I notified the county that TJ would be educated at home, I explained that she would be completing a series of "unit studies" designed to meet her interests as she did her three R's. Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic, right? I did not use those words exactly. Can you imagine? The stumper for me: in the big, wide world of education, WHICH units to study? Where to start?

It figures that the last curriculum in my search is the one I like the best. (Sure, sure, the thing you're looking for IS always in the last place you look for it, because then you stop looking.) The idea is to read a picture book every day for five days in a row. Each day you do a different activity afterwards, with a loose structure of Social Studies, Language Arts, Art, Math, and Science tie-ins through the week. Ta-da! Each book is a unit!

Bonus: Little PJ can participate too. And for me, I love to read to my girls, not that I needed another excuse.

We are reading The Story About Ping this week. I'm thinking about doing a lap book like this one to go with it. On the other hand, we haven't finished our first lap books yet ... so maybe we'll go out for Chinese on Friday to celebrate the end of this short "unit." We just won't order any duck.

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