Sunday, October 11, 2009

Godly Play is a hit

 Sean LOVES Godly Play. His comment when I picked him up that first Sunday morning was, "That wasn't long enough. We should stay there for six hours."
I took a peek at the room one day and it is very inviting and warm. I was impressed, and hoped Sean would enjoy it. I kept in mind that if he didn't enjoy it for some reason, we could always choose the regular classroom that is like a traditional school environment.
Looks like it will be Godly Play for this year at least.
Homeschool is going good. I'm learning a lot, as I'm not a Montessori trained teacher. Luckily, when I get a bit too "regular school teacherish," Sean reminds me.
This week he decided to make his own book. I pulled out paper and card stock for him, got the hole punch, etc. He watched for a minute and then said, "Mom, I have to tell you something. This looks more like it's your plan, and this is not what I had in mind. I have my own plan for the book."
Oops. I handed everything over to him and said, "I'm sorry. You are right. You should do this your way."
So he did. I suggested things he COULD do if he chose, such as include a little information about himself as the author.
What he did was similar to some things we've found in books he has gotten from the library that show the life stages of insects, etc. He drew snakes in various lengths to show their life stages.
Friday afternoon I asked him if he felt he had done enough work for the week. He said he didn't really think so, and that was why he was bringing two library books with him to his dad's for the weekend.

I'm reading two Montessori books right now that I wish I had read before. I recommend both.
"Montessori The Science Behind the Genius," by Agneline Stoll Lillard,  and "The Montessori Method," by Maria Montessori.
In my opinion, these are a must for anyone who wants their child to have a good education. Even if someone didn't choose Montessori, it is important to compare it with other educational models. The first title is important because it gives scientific findings that support Montessori's. Some of it is a bit dry for those who aren't really science people, but I find it all fascinating, having a psychology degree. It really is worth reading, even if you skim over some of the dry scientific stuff. It provides great examples of how choice really does lead to better learning, etc. and how a Montessori room is set up. What I've gotten from it so far is a feeling of relief. I was worried I didn't have enough materials for Sean to engage with, but what I'm reading is that the classroom is filled with materials for all age levels, so some children are not using some of the materials, and there are usually 20 + kids in the class, and only one of each material. So the choices are limited by design.
With only one child, I am seeing that one shelf unit with 3 levels is enough, and I will rotate the materials out when I see that he has mastered something or no longer uses it.
Interesting too the way the choice leads to more peace and less aggression.
I'm seeing some things I'm doing right, other things that I do are flawed, so I hope to fix those. I tend to say things like, "You need to do some of each work, so you have to choose some math and some language arts" or whatever the case may be. Instead, I'm seeing that I should say, "When do you plan to complete the language arts lesson. Can you tell me what day you are planning to do that?"
Wish I had known these things when I had my first two children.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Another Godly Play person!

    Kal-El attends Godly Play at church as well, I even have a GP label in my label cloud. Here's my original post about it.

    Do you feel like they are implementing it well?