It's kind of a silly title, really. All of us (especially those of us over 30) are always learning…the content sometimes differs according to age…sometimes not.
This summer marks our very first start to official homeschooling. Ronan is starting his kindergarten year. There's always learning going on here (as anyone with children knows…it doesn't stop when they get home from school). But, this is going to be my official way to capture some of what we've been learning. An easy way to do a portfolio, right?
Ronan is fascinated with space and the planets…and he's trying to understand the concept of geography. And maps. So, according to Montessori philosophy, we start with the concrete and move to the abstract. Which means, make a map "real" to the student. And what better way to go from 3-D to flat surface than a map of oneself?
I had previously made labels to go along with his map (once we got around to doing this lesson). The labels are great practice for reading. So much of our language doesn't follow a set type of rules and the words need to be memorized. We've been learning the common sight words (the, was, or, etc.) to help get through the first and second set of Bob Books. But, this map provides some additional practice – and it's something that we can do over the next few weeks. It's also helped me to realize that while my very smart five-year-old can put together any lego structure, read a book and draw a detailed picture, he doesn't necessarily know his ankle from his elbow. So, a few times a week, we get out his map and sit together as we label it.
Naturally, my child was not content to stop at a map of himself. Not when we had read Me on the Map (a great book for breaking down the concepts of maps in a simple way). He begged me to help him draw a map of his room, like the girl in the story had done. So, we carried the kids' table into his room and I told him to imagine as if he was looking down on his room from the ceiling. And, he made a map (with just a little bit of guidance from me).
I see a lot more handmade maps in our future.