Monday, November 22, 2010

A new trend?

Hopefully I'm in a new trend to be posting more often. ;) I think it's good for me, like journalling, and especially if I'm not journalling.

I thought a lot yesterday about what it is I want for my kids for their education. And not just my wants, but what respects them while still providing them with an education. I worked out that I have a few minimum things that I feel have to be worked on, although I have to admit that I don't feel comfortable deciding what the level of mastery will be. Here they are:

*able to read
*able to write (and everything that encompasses: spelling, grammar, etc.)
*good math skills

Some specific content that I think is important:
*at least a general knowledge of world geography (continents, major countries, our own country's provinces and capitals, our government system, a bit of our history)

Everything else is extra. Well, not extra, but not as specifically necessary and can be tied in with the first three above.

Some thoughts that have passed through my head are this:

*Remembering how at least some Montessori elementary schools prepare lists of the local standards and make them available to the students. I'm not sure if the students are expected on some level to meet the standards or how it works, so I'll need to find out more about that. But, it definitely helps cover the question of content. I was thinking I would start with math and they could have their own copy and self-evaluate on the different objectives, going as far back as is needed. My son is 10, but does not yet know his addition tables. I feel that's very sad. He will do the most progress if he sees a reason to learn them, and seeing that students in schools have already learned them may do just that. Sure, I can still give him work to practise, but he is definitely the type that once he gets something in his mind to do, bam, he goes with it.

*Requiring a minimum amount of time in French reading each day, or per week. Not sure which. But my kids' first language is French and they almost never read in French. And pretty much never write in French. Which leads me to another thought.

*Weekly French writing assignment. Not necessarily an assignment, but an expectation that they will show that they have written/composed something in French. I'm still working with ds on his handwriting and he has written so little, I don't know that he would even be prepared to attempt to write something in French. He could dictate something to me and if it's short enough, he could then copy it.

*I've been looking at the Montessori High School at University Circle . Dd will be "grade 9" next year, which is the equivalent of their first year of high school. I'm looking at what I might be able to start incorporating into her work for after Christmas. Yes, I'm getting ahead of myself when I'm supposed to just be focusing on the next 4 weeks. I guess the thing is that I need to have some long range goal to know what would even be reasonable to do for the next 4 weeks. Because this school also incorporates IB, I've been trying to learn a bit more about the IB programmes. Of course, it's very "exclusive" and hard to find specifics.

For right now, I really have to get things ready for the 16yo today. My niece and nephew have a PD day (professional development day for their teachers, so they have the day off school), which means that I will let my kids play with them rather than insist on work this morning--so I'll leave finalizing their work for tomorrow. But the 16yo has 4 weeks left to get a whole ton of work done! I need to get to that now.

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