Saturday, June 21, 2014

Planning Ahead

It's always nice to have a plan.  It's easier to keep tabs of what's going on if you know where you're headed.  The problem I have right now, though, is that while most homeschoolers have a plan - after grade 1 comes grade 2, and after that comes grade 3 - I really can't plan like that. What I've learned this year, working our way through subjects linearly, and at Mad Natter's pace, is that Mad Natter will finish a year's curriculum in between three and six months time.

Now, in general, I don't have any issue with this.  But thinking longer term, I need to sort out what I want to do.  Do I want to continue accelerating him, allowing him free reign to work at his own speed, or do I want to work on giving more depth to his topics - things like additional science experiments, more books for reading, more exploration for history...  Both ways have their advantages, not the least of which being that I can use the library extensively for creating depth, but I can't do that quite as well for acceleration, and by extension, there is less money spent on that option as well.  The problem is... How does one find (for example) accurate anatomy texts for a five year old?  Accurate texts exist, but he's not (and I'm definitely not) ready for discussion of fetal pigs, so... Where do you find resources both accurate and current as well as appropriate?

Needless to say, this is a discussion I've brought Skeeve into.  He needs to be involved in this as well - even though his input generally boils down to "well, whatever you think will work..."  It's nice to have a sounding board, it helps me to talk out my ideas.  So, while these conversations usually are "well, you know what you need to do to stay sane, Mad Natter hates repetition..." followed by my objections to both sides (money on one, and my time on the other), and his looking at me like "dude, your time PLUS the frustration of Mad Natter digging in his heels over the repetition!!" it's generally helpful for me to have them.

Who needs a tee?
So, as much as I want to take my time and explore the animal kingdom, the contents of outer space, memorization of basic math facts, sweet little short stories, and fun finger plays with my little boy...  I have to recognize that he doesn't want to take time.  Time spent reviewing is time wasted - he could be spending that time working on something NEW.  Mad Natter has never been one to take anything slowly.  As soon as he figured out he could roll, he went for hands and knees - then to crawl, and then to pull up and stand, and then walk... all within about a five month span - he learned to roll around four months old, and was walking (not well, but he was trying, dangit!) by 9 months, so I'm not sure why this surprises me.his education, and not mine - no matter how much he may teach me - and his voice should be the one honored above others.  This is how there get to be five year old fourth graders, you know.
And honestly, this is, in the end,