I just finished Project Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners by Lori Pickert. Heads up! This book is not just for homeschoolers. It is a solid explanation and guide to support your child in deep exploration of THEIR interests -- something that does not happen in school. Pickert really delves into all the potential pitfalls of this approach to learning. I often found myself nodding in agreement about ways I've thought I was supporting their interests when really I had my own agenda about what they learned, how they learned and at what pace. I like how Pickert explains that this type of learning doesn't just happen. You need to dedicate time and attention to the project of your child's choosing. You are there to take notes and help them get the materials or experiences they need to follow THEIR own ideas. I also appreciated her point that if you want your child to value this kind of deep exploration they need to see you living this way too. Finally project learning is not about units or themes, read this book to really understand the difference.
Mr. Bright side is reading The Chalk Box Kid by Cylde Bulla. This book has a DRA of 34. We have been focusing on reading comprehension so we are reading the book out loud. I ask my son about the meaning of words I suspect he might not know. I also ask questions about the characters, setting, problem and solution. I try to draw parallels between his life and the main character where possible. I usually choose one book a week from the library for my son to read with me and the rest he chooses himself.
From Random House: "When nine-year-old Gregory experiences several upsets in his life, he responds by creating a fantastic chalk garden on the charred walls of a burned-out factory behind his house. As his garden grows and flourishes, Gregory finds a voice through his art and, for the first time, is able to find his own place in the world."
Mr. Rolo is reading Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. He loves the fact that he can read looooooong books all by himself. We are also listening to The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh in the car.
Miss Independent is still pretty obsessed with all the Franklin the Turtle books by Paulette Bourgois. She is also enjoying Penny and her Song by Kevin Henkes and Pinkalicious: Fairy House by Victoria Kahn.
Come back in May for more great books!