Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A is for Artery
It's official: we have started homeschooling, and so far we love it! I let Max choose his first area of study, and he decided on the human body. Oh great, I thought, we start out with biology- my least favorite subject in my entire school career. But already it has turned out to be a blessing. The internet is chock full of activity ideas for introducing the body systems to preschoolers, and in doing my own research I have totally had my interest piqued! Did you know it takes at least 19 hours for your food to digest? Did you know that the sound of your heartbeat is actually the valves of your heart slamming shut after the blood goes through? Ok, maybe you already knew those things... but they were news to me! I guess maybe I need to learn science at a preschool level in order to really get into it.
But this is all beside the point. We have begun following a schedule each morning, and I include between 30-60 minutes of structured "school" activities. In the beginning I thought I would be lucky to hold his interest for a quarter of an hour, but on the first day of school, Max kept asking for more. We ended up learning about the human body together for almost three hours that morning! We've made pasta skeletons, a water balloon heart, a Max-sized body outline complete with labeled organs, even a model of the digestive system. We had to make it twice because Max though it was so cool... I just thought it was disgusting. I throw in counting, writing, patterns, and other basics as they come up, but his real interest lies in the nitty-gritty details of the body's inner workings.
I don't have many specific learning goals for Max this year; I want him to continue increasing his comfort with letter sounds and simple counting, but beyond that we are simply having fun. He is interested in so many things, I know we will never want for new subject material. He has already mentioned as future unit studies: pirates and seas, outer space, ancient Egypt, the ocean and underwater exploration, saints, knights and castles, famous artists... the list goes on and on. I believe that my main goal this year is to follow his lead and give him exposure to whatever interests him. Maybe later we'll get more structured... and maybe we won't! As long as he stays this excited about learning new things, I have no worries about the direction we're going.