Monday, March 12, 2012


Jeff and I made the decision last weekend to home school/dual-enroll Matthew.  While I am still trying to figure out what this means, in terms of my schedule and what kinds of things the school will provide (like art and music classes), I think this will be the best decision all the way around.

We had a rough start today, between appointments and difficulty with the new baby sitter.  This afternoon, we started a unit-learning module about the State of Florida.  The module includes science (about Florida's natural resources and native plants and animals); geography (learning where things are on a Florida map); writing (drawing a picture about something "florida" and writing about it); and social studies (learning about Florida culture and history).  The only thing that the unit doesn't really include is math -- we'll have to do math separately, unless I can figure out a way to work measurements, like latitude, longitude and map reading into the unit.

The unit has already led him to explore the mockingbird, which he didn't know was the Florida state bird!

I found a great resource online: The Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute.  The Institute is a partnership between Yale and New Haven Schools designed to enrich children's learning in lower grades by collaboration on unit studies similar to the Florida unit we are working on now.  Our next unit will be about exploring Colonial America through Art and Literature, including viewing paintings, reading journals and illustrated stories, discussing the colonies and including them on a map of the Unites States, and learning about slavery and character through the book Night Journeys, by Avi.

It's an interesting approach to learning, and one that I think is suited to Matthew's strengths.  No more rote worksheets and work that he finds boring.  Now he works on what interests him.


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