Saturday, November 14, 2009

Notebooking...They Don't Know They're Learning!

Last week, I had a "homeschool meltdown". Most public schooler's have never heard of this phenomenon, but ask any homeschool mom/teacher about it and she'll answer with, "I had 2 just this morning!" It is becoming more wide-spread as the number of home school's increase, and while it is acceptable in the homeschooling community, most do not want to talk about it. It is our "dirty little secret".

A typical "meltdown" usually starts with one or more children conveniently forgetting all that they had learned the day before. Otherwise known as "selective memory recall". (I think most children suffer from this disorder, but mine may suffer more than most.) This is usually followed by a blank look on the student's face, which is typically followed by a horrified look on Mom's! There is usually some sweating involved with the blood pressure being elevated for an extended period of time. This is where Mom will put herself in timeout. With a latte. It's for her own good.

Timeout. This is when Mom has her "aha" moment. That moment where Mom realizes that children remember everything if it's something that interests them. Let me make this clear...CHILDREN REMEMBER EVERTHING IF THEY FIND IT INTERESTING!


My latest meltdown was over science. I had put a tremendous amount of time in preparing the week's lessons, and as such, expected my children to be eager and grateful that they had a mom such as I. There was "eagerness" and "gratefulness" all right, but it was at the end of my "thesis" length speech. They were eager for the torture to end and grateful that my mouth had gone dry! This is when I decided to "change lanes".

For my 9 year old son, that meant choosing something that was of interest to him. As anyone with boys can tell you, for that age, it would be something that parents would find repulsive, such as bodily functions and bugs. I went with the bugs.

After some research and a few prayers (because bodily functions and bugs are in the same category as far as I'm concerned), I confidently (haha) proceeded with my plan to educate my son in everything buggy. I dug, out of storage, a book called "Considering God's Creation", which I had purchased a few years ago for another child. I'm not sure why it was in storage, because it was a book we enjoyed, but sometimes things "just happen". (Great, now I sound like my 9 year old!) The teacher's manual is packed full of information and the student workbook has lots of hands-on projects. I'm not one to follow a curriculum to the letter, but it is helpful to have something like that as a base for building upon.

The second part of our new science program is called notebooking. This is where the student gets to summarize in his own words, what was learned that day.

Or, the notebooking pages can be used to write a story. My son decided to write about a curious bee. He even drew a picture. And in true, boy fashion, managed to "terminate" the bee. At least it's not about bodily functions.

(Translation: Once upon a time there wuse a Bee. A Bee that wuse curious. he wuse curious wut wuse on the other side of the glass he wet there and Got Smashed. that wus the stere of the curious Bee.) Next week, Spelling 101.

For free notebooking pages, click here.


Nana K said...

Love the bee story, don't boys just love happy endings :)

Our Christian was stung by a bee just last week so I'm sure he'd be very happy with the outcome of the story!!!!

Kelsie said...

Hey Momma! I love your blogs! It reminds me of living at home. :)