This week, W was lucky enough to go on a holiday. Obviously, there was no structured learning while on a break, but of course learning happens organically every day, without effort on our part. I just love that, even if we have no plans for specific educational activities in a particular week, learning will happen anyway, whether we want it to or not…
So, in order of subjects, this is the breakdown of W’s education for the last seven days:
Maths / Numeracy: W worked on her new pull-the-tab Counting Book. She went through the flashcards, which had questions like: are there more bees or more flowers in the picture? She was really engaged and loved counting everything. She also went through the other flashcards and read the numbers up to twenty. On other flashcards, she was asked which number was missing in a sequence and got all of them right.
On the addition pages, she had a good go at adding numbers under 10 together and loved it when she pulled the tab and had got the answer right.
I must say at this point that I try to not focus on whether W gets the answer right or not. I feel it is important to praise (or at least encourage gently) the effort that is put in, rather than the result. There was a very interesting study on this subject by Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University. In it, she found that students who had been praised for intelligence performed worse than those praised for effort. The psychological reasons behind the findings are detailed here.
Science / Nature: We planted some wildflower seeds in the garden, so learned about germination and what a plant needs to grow. We also pulled up some old daffodils to store for next year, providing an opportunity to learn about the difference between bulbs and seeds.
W then spent time investigating what happens to chalk marks when you pour water on them. She realised that chalk could be washed off the bricks or ground, so she then tried wetting the chalks themselves and saw that the chalk marks were much brighter when the chalk was wet.
Then W decided to get a bucket of water and a paintbrush to paint the brickwork of the garden wall. She saw that is was darker when wet and lighter when dry. Her and D had a lot of fun spraying water and washing pebbles etc, noting what happens to different kinds of rocks when wet.
Play: W spent time indoors playing with D, which included lots of role play with her Lego minifigures and her dolls.
When we were travelling on the train, W and I played some more with her dolls, which I’m sure the other travellers enjoyed listening to…..
Geography: In the car W had a go at interpreting road signs, and also learned what the lines on the road mean.
W also read the map of the holiday site, finding our lodge by herself and also spent time reading signs and finding numbers everywhere.
PE / Play: There were little log barriers all over the site, and W enjoyed balancing on these wherever she went.
She also played for hours in the playgrounds and parks with other children, having lots of fun!
There was a pool on site and W spent many happy hours playing generally, but also learning to swim as she did so.
…And then it was time to come home. However, there was no feeling of dread for going to school on Monday morning. We will simply go back to our usual learning through play, through our regular fun activities and basically being led by W in terms of her education. On days like these, at the end of a holiday, I am especially grateful for the path that I have chosen for W.