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Learning Journal 1

I've decided to start this so that I can keep track a little of what I'm doing with Mikey and also the kinds of independent learning I am doing on my own.

I recently found out from a friend that they do kids gymnastics classes for 6 month olds and up. Their 2 year old daughter attends once a week. We're going to wait until the end of the month to sign Mikey up with that, as the age cut off for the next class is age 2 and he'll be 2 in less than a month. I'm hoping he'll enjoy it... he likes climbing and running around. He's good with children much older than him and loves babies but is a bit wary of kids his own age, so hopefully this will help with that sort of thing.

Speaking of physical activity, he has graduated to the "big boy slide". He can climb up it all on his own and slide down, he likes to throw balls down and watch how far they go (isn't gravity wonderful?).

I also found a website with some beautiful alphabet flash cards. I'm not particularly into that sort of memorization learning, but they are so nice that I've printed them to go on his wall. You can see them here.

We've been learning two songs. The alphabet song, of which Mikey knows the tune and can hum it, but has trouble with most of the letters. We're also learning "Head, shoulder, knees and toes" with the actions. He can say "Head" and put his hand on his head, same with knees and ears. We're working on the other parts.

He has finally got the hang of all the different shapes in his shape sorter and can put them in the right places without help. We are also doing a lot of colouring/scribbling.

We're watching the BBC Planet Earth DVD quite a bit still. He loves all of the animals on there, especially the "teddies"/bears, "doggies"/wolves and "kitties"/leopards.

He is beginning to show an interest in things that are in the sky. He points at airplanes and birds. He can sometimes say "Plane" (sounds like "pane") but so far birds are just doggies like every other animal.  Earlier in the week we laid outside on the slide, watched some hot air balloons fly past and pointed at clouds and other things which was really good fun.

At the moment I am trying to not force anything, just keeping to the things that he shows interest in. So far these are things like helping with the housework (sorting, putting away, wiping), animals, music/singing and vehicles (especially emergency vehicles). He's also starting to show an interest in plants and leaves, I'm hoping this will continue into the autumn so that we can have lots of fun playing out in the leaves.

Skills

  • Climbing (Gross Motor development)
  • Language and Song (Speech and Language development)
  • Shape Recognition (Cognitive and fine motor development)

So far all I've been really doing is reading up on schooling methods. I'm really into some Montessori and some Waldorf ideas but I think I want to use a sort of Unschooling approach in that I'll let him take the lead, show me what he is into and I'll provide materials and open-ended toys and activities.

So this is sort of the start of "intentional" learning for us. Of course kids learn from everything but I suppose it feels better to be able to know how to approach certain things, does that make sense?

I'm of course open to ideas from any of you homeschoolers/preschool homeschoolers out there.

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I am a 24 year old British stay at home mother to a two year old boy. Married to a U.S. soldier and currently living in Germany.

I have seen the Vatican from the very top of St Peter's Basilica, the mud in the World War I trenches outside Ypres. I have walked through Montmartre side streets bustling with people in the evening, gotten lost in the streets of Greenwich Village NYC, run through cornfields on the Welsh border and sat outside with a cup of tea watching fireflies in the fields of the outer Chicago suburbs.

I have held the hands of others through addiction, fear, suicide, despair and come out the other side. I have left everything behind to begin anew.
I have fought mental illness and walked through snow in the mountains of the lake district, England. I have explored the morgue in the bowels of an abandoned hospital on a summer evening, climbed to the top of scaffolding on the outside of a five floor warehouse to look at the city lights of Nottingham at night and I have watched the sun setting on the Texas horizon.

I have held my son's tiny hand through the plastic window on an isolette in the NICU ward. Walked, speaking only in whispers, through the catacombs beneath the ground on the outskirts of Rome and seen the fireworks over Heidelberg castle.

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