Saturday, October 07, 2006

Great Quote!

Yes, I'm posting a lot this morning:

Adolescence is a vulnerable time due to physical changes, doubts, hesitations, violent emotions, and discouragement. The support of an Erdkinder or Montessori environment during this critical period, including various experiences of productive work, will result in the adolescent developing a greater sense of self worth and self confidence, a sense of justice, moral conscience, responsibility, and will contribute to economic independence.

Excerpted from Maria Montessori’s “From Childhood to Adolecence”

This has got me thinking: I think I've been unconsciously trying to force the 15yo for sure, and maybe a bit the 12yo, to conform to 'standard' education this year. I've been relying on textbooks and school-initiated stuff and not thinking about them.

I think I'm going to scrap the 15yo's social studies assignments that I've given her. "Productive work" is not reading through a dry textbook answering questions. I'm going to sit with her, look at the objectives, and see what kind of projects we can come up with--for her and for me. She'll still cover the content, just in a very different way. She enjoys the research process and feels fairly confident in it. Sitting with a textbook like her social studies textbook turns off parts of her brain. Although she'll need to deal with it sometime, it doesn't have to be right now. Or, it can be in small bits, like looking up stuff in it. If she had true interest in the course, the textbook would be fine, but she was really hoping she didn't have to do social studies at all (at least, not required topics). A project approach will be much more interesting and motivating.

For the 12yo, I'm going to pick and choose things from his social studies and science for him to do and be prepared to pre-read things to then summarize sections for him. I'm asking too much too quickly. I had in mind that I'd like him to be blended or teacher-directed in grade 9, but is that fair? And to force it now? There are more pressing issues: confidence levels, reading and writing levels. Let me expose him to the textbooks and the type of work involved without requiring all of it.

I love blogging. Writing is a huge way for me to sort out my thoughts.

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