Thursday, February 12, 2009

Changes to Curriculum

The next book on the history list was Sam the Minuteman. I pre-skimmed it and while I thought it was a good book, I thought the talk of war and fighting would be too much for my five-year old. He's very sensitive to scary and sad things. So, I took it out of our book list and decided instead to look for some books about the national symbols from that time...the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, and the Flag. I have requested several books from the library, and if we end up using these books, I'll add them to my Kindergarten Curriculum post. I made a few changes today to reflect what was "planned" and what has actually occurred. History for a five-year old is more about exposure to the "idea" of history in my personal educational philosophy anyway.

I kind of chuckle when I use the word "curriculum" because to me it is just a guide of the books and ideas I want to expose my son to. I gather these ideas from all over the web and from homeschool curriculum books. Sometimes reality sets in. It has always been my practice to not push anything. Sometimes I make him listen to a few pages from a book before making up his mind (don't judge a book by its cover, you know), but if he doesn't want to finish it, I don't make him. Usually, I just move that book title down my list and the next time it comes up, he is receptive.

I recently was reading posts by a mother who was reading The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew to her sons (I believe...if this is you, please leave a comment and I will edit my post to link to your blog). She was not particularly enjoying the book. I remembered reading my mom's childhood copy as a child and knew she still had the book. I didn't really remember anything about the story though. I decided to bring it home to re-read.

But when my son found out it was his "Mommy Anne's" book as a little girl and that I had also read it when I was a little girl, he wanted it as a read-aloud. I started it and after the first page thought, "There is no way he will understand this language and context", but to my surprise he wants to keep reading it. The language is very hard and I had to stop and explain some things. One example is when the family was getting excited over the idea of 200 candles burning in the house and I had to explain that the story took place before there was electricity in every house so they wouldn't have had lights at night or on dark days. He especially liked a section where Polly is talking to an older lady who is deaf and mishears quite a few words.

So, it's been two nights now and I will keep reading it to him as long as he likes, but I won't make him finish it if he stops being interested. But for now, I added it to the Kindergarten Curriculum post.

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