Friday, August 12, 2011

Morgan's Things I Want to Do and Learn List

Yesterday, Morgan and I revisited her Things I Want to Know list from last year and created a new one, called the Things I Want to Do and Learn list.

My reasons for doing this are the same as they were last year: because I think the kids need to have a huge voice in what they are learning, and it gives them good experience in goal-setting and introspection. Also, this process helps me learn about their interests and goals, which helps me to know what resources and experiences I can provide, as well as suggestions I can make. I view the homeschooling mommy job as primarily providing resources and guidance (similar to management roles I've held), and knowing what they're thinking about helps me do my job.

So Morgan, all on her own, wanted to revisit last year's list and check off the things she accomplished. Here was her list from last year, with completed items marked through and my notes in italics:

  • Learn German, French, Russian, and Greek we really didn't do much on this at all
  • Chess Class (at co-op)
  • ASL Class (at co-op)
  • Read more Little House on the Prairie books (as read alouds)  but we didn't get through all of them
  • More read alouds: Harry Potter and Narnia books we got through a book or two from each series
  • Library Trips not as many as she'd have liked, mostly because I feel like we have a zillion books here we ought to look at occasionally
  • Writing practice, specifically focusing on holding the pen/pencil properly (she still tends to grip it with her fist) a zillion times better!
  • Play with math blocks (Cuisenaire rods)
  • Dog Art Class (her term)
  • Drawing Class (at co-op)
  • Piano
  • Arts and Crafts projects
  • Dog training (we don't have a dog, but we thought we'd read some books maybe) we did read a couple of books, but we decided not to mark this off
  • Go to the zoo and the park
  • Go hiking on mountains
  • Independent Reading: Junie B. Jones books, Nate the Great books, Ramona books she did some independent reading, but none of these books!
  • Cooking
  • Science Fair (at co-op)

So really, she accomplished quite a lot! She was so proud and excited to mark these off her list. She's list-y like me. :D

So we created her list for this year and it goes like this:

  • Learn multiplication
  • Study languages: French, German, Russian, Greek, and Spanish
  • Read more Little House on the Prairie, Harry Potter, and Narnia books
  • Read more of the Childhood of Famous Americans books
  • Library Trips (home and the actual library)
  • Piano and violin and saxophone
  • Gymnastics
  • Chess (at co-op)
  • ASL (at co-op)
  • Science Fair (at co-op)
  • Travel, specifically to Nonnie's to give her aunt's dog a bone (this old man came rolling home?)
  • Hiking
  • Pan for gold in Dahlonega
  • Learn drawing
  • Learn to knit
  • Learn about evolution
  • Watch science and history shows (documentaries)
  • Watch Star Trek and Rocky & Bullwinkle (this child is clearly related to my dad)
  • Play baseball (we have homeschool baseball in the spring)
  • Play the Wii (!!!)
  • Join a Brownie Troop (though upon investigating, I learned she is old enough for a Daisy troop instead of Brownies)

Quite a decent list! Keep in mind that none of these were MY suggestions (not even multiplication!). I limited my involvement to writing the list and reminding her of some of the ideas we've been talking about recently (such as which classes she is taking at co-op). And in true brainstorm fashion, I put everything on the list, even playing the Wii and Rocky & Bullwinkle. :D

There are three things on this list that I've committed to doing something about right away. First is gymnastics. This afternoon, she is going to attend a free trial of a gymnastics class and if she likes it, I'll sign her up for regular classes.

The other two things are languages and music. All indications from this child are that she is a little sponge and picks up both languages and music very readily. I'm going to let her try some Rosetta Stone programs at Kelly's house soon, and if Morgan likes them, we'll choose a language to order. I'm pretty certain she'll do just fine with a program like that.

The other thing I'm going to do is find her a place to take violin. She's way too small for saxophone (and where did she come up with that, I wonder!), but violin is something she's talked about pretty consistently and I've just dropped the ball on that. No more. And we are making a regular date on the calendar for piano lessons (which I can give to her at home for free).

And of course, she's signed up for co-op classes and has been practicing multiplication for the last few weeks, mostly independently, but with a little help from me.

So that's her list! I thought the variety and volume was pretty impressive coming from a six year old kid. The list is hanging prominently in the music room of our house, for us to refer to as the weeks and months go by, just like we did with last year's list. Ryan and I are planning to work on his list very soon, and hopefully he'll let me post the results here.


Hanah said...

Sasha is totally up for giving Russian lessons.

Kendall J said...

I noticed dog training fell off the list. I have a dog in mind who is an excellent dog training subject for beginners. And a trainer who knows a thing or two about the topic. :)

Jenn Casey said...

Hanah--let's figure out how to do that! :D

Kendall--I know! I used to have family in the city you're in now, too, but they moved away. In the meantime, do you have any books or websites to recommend for dog training? I want to get a head start on how to do this--I'm thinking next spring or summer will be Doggie Go Time.

Kendall J said...

Why Jen, I certainly do.

I must warn you tho. I'm biased. Brenda was my and Moxie's trainer, although she is arguably one of the best behaviorists in the country. She's better in person and great with kids, but she's in Michigan. The books are good, although the language isn't always polished.

You will learn a lot about positive reinforcement (although, non-conceptual) behavior modification.

A few vids on her site, and also on youtube.

Kendall J said...

Ooh great interview.