We reach the “early chapter book” stage, and all of a sudden, we go from nice, friendly, stories about families supporting each other and getting along to this focus on everything annoying, mean-spirited, selfish, and disrespectful. Here’s a list of good, quality, enjoyable literature in that upper elementary level (grades 2-4, primarily) that does NOT celebrate mean, catty girls or rude, potty-humored boys… but are still fun to read.
Every once in a while, though, a student came along who was so disenchanted by the educational system, so convinced that it was irrelevant, that he did everything possible to declare his independence.
By the time they got to me, at age 15, it was almost too late.
What can we do in the early years to help kids stay engaged and motivated so they don’t reject the system and end up failing out of school?
This year, Reading Eggs came out with some great workbooks which were just what I was looking for, especially for my twins, who are almost five and starting kindergarten this year.
Homeschool, although still called school, should NOT seek to emulate a classroom designed for challenges that home environments simply do not share.
The problem is: boxed, do-the-next-page curricula don’t work for us. Based on our kids, their learning styles, and our family rhythms we have chosen an eclectic, unschool-y approach. So far, it’s working pretty well.
Asynchrony is, in a nutshell, development outside of the expected developmental window. It’s usually a combination of really early and really late at the same time.
It means, in our case,
early reading but late collaborative play
early math but late physical coordination
early awareness of people’s emotions but late development of the maturity to deal with said emotions
early interest in and understanding of the world coupled with late development of the social skills that ease peer interactions