Bambini Homeschool 5 : Reoccuring Themes
I struggle sometimes with the fact that my children's interests are so eclectic. I expected this in the toddler years, as toddlers and infants are soaking in everything in their environment. At this point, nearing four, I had envisioned longer sustained projects and more focused interests. We have themes that reoccur. (Trains, Ocean Animals, Ballet, Weather - currently). Often over the course of weeks or months, or in the case of trains over years, but from day to day their interests vary. My twins start most days with some version of this conversation:
Her: (springing out of bed and running into the hallway) What are we pretending today James?
Him: I think I want to be Thomas. Do you want to be Percy?
Her: well...I think maybe I'm a ballerina. Do you want to be a ballerina?
Him: well, well, Thomas needs to drive the trains to Cranky the Crane today. Percy needs to help him.
Her: oh. Well Percy wants to deliver the mail.
Him: Oh. Okay. Is she (Percy is a girl train in our house) going to take it to the station?
Him: Okay. Let's get dressed so we can go down stairs.
Her: Okay. (Scampers off to her room)
This was Thursday. Sometimes these conversations are longer and require more negotiation, but in general they come to pretty quick agreement about their play. I listen to this from nearby but rarely intervene. As a mama, I love that they make plans. I love that they want to include each other in their plan for the day. I love that this ritual is entirely of their creation.
However, for me as a teacher trying to plan for our day this poses a problem. This week alone they were princesses, baby ducks, ballerinas, trains, and flamingo ballerinas. These decisions often drive their play and their interests for the day. Not always, but usually. I am still figuring out how to best respect their decisions, weave them into our day, and still accomplish learning. If anyone has insights into this, I would love some thoughts. For now I do my best to follow their lead and have stacks of somewhat organized books and other materials on hand for the various themes to which they keep returning.
(math + self help) baking muffins
(math + literacy) making patterns with oral stories and gems.
(science) impromptu lesson on the sun to answer his very important question. don't judge my drawing skills.
(problem solving + science + creativity) they discovered that the magnatiles stick to the door today and decided to decorate it for daddy who is away for work this month.
(technology) she asked to type her name and was thrilled when it came off the printer.
(science) weekly nature walk to see the ducks and geese.
(literacy + creativity) reflecting on our trip to the aquarium. more details coming next week.
(science + dramatic play) retelling stories about fish and turtles at the sensory table.
(science) friday he woke up with a question. "I'm a flamingo, what sound does a flamingo make?"
I didn't know the answer and could have easily looked it up on utube, but we didn't have any plans set in stone, so we headed to the zoo to answer his question.
what did you learn about this week?
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