Sunday, February 7, 2010
We struck out
Yes, it happens, I don't always get it right!
We have been planning to study birds in the first 'term' of this year. I had chosen Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day Young Explorer Series by J. K. Fulbright as our 'spine' text. I pre-read it and I thought that it MAY be a little above the kids but I was excited about it. Well, I learned a lot from it! Forgetting, of course, that it was actually the KIDS who were meant to be learning not me!
I read the first few pages today and it sailed completely over their heads. Their eyes glazed over as I talked about Latin names and taxonomy. They had nothing to contribute when I asked questions and asked no questions of their own. Honestly, they learned more about birds from our reading of the Ugly Duckling this morning!
It was an honest mistake. I got excited about the information and know it is stuff I would love them to know about, but forgot about THEM in the mix!
So the brain cogs start whirring. What do I want Erin (the boys are pretty much just along for the ride on this one) to know about this? How can I teach her effectively and light her spark for the subject matter without drowning her in dry 'facts'? Honestly, the best way I think Erin can learn about the basics of taxonomy and scientific names is by labeling sketches and pictures for her nature journal with common and Latin names. And that's it! In my passion for this subject I forgot the golden rule of teaching a five and a half year old: KISS! Keep It Simple Sweetheart!
So I am putting this book on my bedside table to read. I will probably mention things I find out about to the kids as we brush over each subject area and I daresay it will be getting some airplay when birds next come around in our Nature subject rotation. But for now, I'm going to leave my kids alone, let them look at bird books and peek through binoculars and do my own learning - leave them to do theirs!