My little Hamori adventurers got into their schoolwork today! I found them with pencils in hand working in their phonics books on the living room floor. Angelina would ask Daniel to read it with her and explain how to do the exercise, he would and then she did the section from the book.
From there we launched into our first official day of homeschooling. Last week they were still learning French with their tutor so this week’s start was a natural evolution.
Learning from a textbook is not even close to the Montessori program we are used to. The kids have been attending Montessori since age two where there are many answers to the question. A program that I still shout from the mountain tops as the best school program in existence. With no sensory learning, I will be improvising on our journey across central Europe incorporating as much hands on projects in our currently setting as possible. Let’s hope I am up to the challenge of integrating text work and the environment around us for a well-rounded education and a natural learning process. We haven’t left yet, so the enthusiasm is still fresh.
Last week for fun my kids created crests for their made up countries they were pretending to rule. Excellent! And Angelina and Daniel have been making up funny songs and teaching them to one another. I like the one about the gummy bears, wearing no underwear. Good work kids!
Daniel had a hard time trying to figure out what it was they were asking in his book. He knew color was in fact a way for plants to protect themselves, so he listed off all the colors of the flowers he could see from the window. I kept asking him what is another adaptation, and he’d give me another color. But now he knows that the answer is in the paragraph before the question, exactly the way they want it. Size, color and smell are the three adaptations of plants and flowers. Really, he said, that’s so easy. Yes it is that easy.
Each morning before or after we go to the gym, the kids start off the day with one of their many curriculum books from the learning centre. Angelina has to be stopped, or she will complete the whole book. Daniel has to be pushed to start, and has to know exactly what is expected of him, ( 3 pages) and does nothing more. I guess he will have more fun once we are on the road exploring. We will soon find out.
Daniel’s final year in the Montessori three year cycle is based on leadership. Every opportunity for Daniel to teach, lead or help his sister will be seized. The final year of the cycle builds confidence and the ability to lead younger kids in class by example. Daniel’s grades are fine, and he has done a lot of work on his behavior (being a year end baby). My only regret is he is missing this last year with Candace Hu his primary 1,2,3 teacher. They learn so much more than how to read, write and math in this very special classroom. I feel he is missing out. However the adventure overrides everything else.
As part of their curriculum they will be posting on our family adventure website. The kid’s blog will have its first entry upon arrival in Budapest. It will be a nice way for the kids in their classes to stay in touch, and pen pal if they choose. With the Internet and Skype why not have friends on the other side of the world?