So many of you have emailed wondering how Shaye is doing in her "super grade" or how Mackenna is adjusting to Kindergarten that I figured it's time for an official update. First off, let me say, I am very excited about everything that the girls' school is implementing and that it is hard to capture the excitement and inovativeness of all that they do in a blog post, but I will try to sum it up.
The school is using the Tools of the Mind program for Kindergarten this year and it's exciting to be a part of it. It focuses on teaching the children how to self-regulate AKA be able to attend to learning! It is a program chock full of getting the kids doing and writing, and centers around the Magic Treehouse series- the children do "unit studies" (themed dramatic play, writing, and hands-on activites) for each book. Hey, homeschoolers- sound familiar?!! Mackenna is loving being in a classroom and going full time, although she does get tired and tends to be very cuddly/clingy- especially towards the end of a week.
Shaye's multi-age classroom was the answer to our prayers. As close to a "perfect" educational solution that a public school can offer- considering the logistics of a large group mandates keeping a schedule. Other than that, it is a free learning environment. They work in pairs and small groups, all around the room; They are encouraged to make connections and have ideas. They perform hands-on tasks and "math" is a series of games and problems- not boring drills and paperwork. Her vocabulary is challenged and her ideas are listened to and expanded upon. Shaye loves being with other children- and these children are all similar to Shaye in that they love to read, love to learn, enjoy school and doing/learning new things. This group of children all pick things up easily, so the learning moves at a great pace for Shaye.
The person having the most difficult time adjusting to back to school? Me. For the first time in fifteen years, I have no kids at home with me. Luckily, the school loves volunteers and the kindergarten teachers are asking for project ideas and supplies- so, I didn't have to give it all up cold turkey. I miss the girls, but we make the most of days off, and anyone that reads this blog knows by now that living is learning in this home and that hasn't changed at all. :)
Rereading this post, I realize it's pretty generalized- if you have specific questions, feel free to email me or ask in comments. Child ed. is one of my favorite topics!