Monday, February 2, 2015

Makana (age 9 1/2) plans her first visit to the 4th grade

Makana is going to visit the Camden Hills Elementary School tomorrow (4th grade) to see if she might like it. She was supposed to check it out last Tuesday, but school was canceled due to a snowstorm. 

Though I support her and help her find out about what she is curious and interested in - and will do so for her current interest in school, I hope she likes homeschooling better. 

As a homeschooler, Makana can do all the art she wants to and currently spends a lot of time drawing and painting and creating. When we arranged for the school visit, we asked if it was possible for her to attend on a day when they have art. On Tuesday's, the kids have a whole hour of art and therefore her visit is arranged for a Tuesday. I do hope they have school tomorrow and it's not another snow day as she is excited to try it.

This will be a whole new experience for her in many ways. I said that if she does like it (and before she'd enroll..if she even wanted to), to check out the homeschool coop in Belfast....because she might like that better. Or maybe she will be satisfied with all the things she already does now.

Makana is saying yes to so many new things lately. We've been to open gym*, swimming, signed up for a homeschool art museum trip, found an art teacher to do a homeschool art class which begins next week*, bought new art supplies on sale, checked out the local kids chorus (was not for her), arranged for her to visit the school for a day, and she said she would like to try skiing. Plus there are free art lessons in Rockland on Tuesday afternoons. She may try those too.  Oh!  And she joined the book club at the library as well and loved it. She wishes it met more than once a month as she loved it so much! When it isn't snowing, we've gone to writing club. On our own we enjoy making up stories and jotting down book ideas. Some of her latest ideas are a Doctor Who alphabet book or one similar to Shel Silverstein's "Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only," and a book about a cat and dog, and another she wrote with Kanoa. And dancing together (see video below). Busy busy....  Plus time to get into Pretty Little Liars!  We both love it and are in season 2.  (* = those activities I organized)

Because she is so into art, we've been reading many different books on artists, especially before bed. While organizing her room and bookshelves, we found some old art books that she loved - esp one on Picasso. 

Makana is also interested in history and when we were going through the books, we found a book on Betsy Ross - one short one I read aloud and another in a series that Katie used to love. She is currently reading the one from the series and chose to take that book with her as her reading book for tomorrow. 

In the organizing process, she discovered the Who Am I? books where you try to guess who the famous person or character is based on the hints provided. One of the people in the guess book was Betsy Ross! Love it when those connections happen. :)

Makana isn't told to read any specific books - she has a large variety of them on our bookshelves and through our library from which to choose. She wasn't asked to read a prescribed number of questions in the Who Am I? book. She likes doing the quizzes because they are fun to try to figure out. When she is interested in something, it is because of her own curiosity and her own desire to find out more. That desire is natural in people, but can get stamped out (or partially stamped out) when the agenda of another person or an institution insists that there is a better way to learn or even a specific way to learn.

I just helped her organize for tomorrow. We need to be there at 8:15am (she usually sleeps till between 10:30 and 11:45am, so this will be an early rising day). I have paperwork to fill out. She's supposed to take a snack, boots and snowpants (because she must go outside for recess for at least five minutes I think...but she doesn't have snowpants that fit well right now, though she said she would be fine without them), sneakers, and a book to read (maybe there is some free time or downtime?). I added paper, pen and a pencil to the list. The 4th grade in that school switches teachers and classrooms, though in 5th grade they go back to not switching.     

I hope she enjoys her experience, but prefers to continue homeschooling. 

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