2016 Learning Challenges for my kids

These are not “Learning Challenges” per se. That would be too much! They’re only 5 and 2! Goals? Not really. I don’t have an end in mind. Resolutions? Oh no, not at all! I hardly keep mine, forget keeping track of theirs! More like Guideposts, to keep us on the right track, except that there’s no right track. Ugh!!! What’s going on?  What are you blabbering about?? you may be, understandably, wondering. So instead of reasoning my thoughts out, let me come straight to the point.

I’ve decided to make Medha READ a book everyday. It’s not just because her teachers expect her to be an independent reader even before she enters First Grade! Yup! Seriously! But also because I feel like she will learn her words better by seeing them being used in a story and sounding them out regularly, instead of just memorizing them. I’ll help her (a lot) in the beginning, but with time, I’m sure she will gain enough confidence to read on her own.

We have a LOT of books at home, but not many Beginner-level-reading ones. So we will be re-reading a few, borrowing some from the library and printing PDFs of books I find online. There will be days when we won’t be able to fit in reading time into our schedule – sick days, busy days etc. etc. Even if we skip a few days, this guidepost will (hopefully)  lead us back towards reading “One Book a Day”.

 Anyway, we began our adventure on the 30th of December itself (You don’t have to wait for a new year to start something new!) and we have read 5 books so far. It’s been a bumpy start, Medha having forgotten what simple words like  C-a-t, I-t are, after a short vacation! I’ve been making note of what books she reads and the way she reads them on the EVERNOTE app on my tablet. Let’s see how far we go.

And for Madhav, yup, I have one for my little one too, but this one is different, as in, this guidepost is more for me than for him. I feel like I often neglect him and his ‘education’, since I’m always drowning in Medha’s assignments and assessments all the time. I hardly ever read a book to him or play his favorite games like Puzzles, building blocks etc. This year I plan to change that. I’ve decided to tackle one concept a week, like colors, alphabets, numbers and animals/birds the whole year. That is, Week 1 of a month will be about a particular color, Week 2, about a letter, Week 3, a number and so on.

I started with RED and will continue it into next week. I began by reading books about the color RED, showing related videos I found on blogs by homeschooling moms (Some of them are so so cool! I’ll put up their links soon.) and pointing out the color to him on our outings. I will be doing an activity (or two)  related to the color with him soon, just to reinforce what he is learning. (This is not my original idea by the way. I found it here.)

I don’t know about later, but right now Madhav just LOVES to learn. He lights up when I spend time reading or playing with him. This ‘challenge’ is a good way of reminding myself to spend more quality time with him.

I’ll leave you with this quote I came across this morning in the newspaper-

I have always been very focused on my purpose. I believe that our duty as humans is to evolve and become better. If I were to get distracted, I would dissipate my time and effort on the wrong things. How, then, will I channelize my energy upwards into myself?

Muzaffar Ali, Painter-Poet-Filmmaker.

Love and Best wishes on all your endeavors this year,

Manasa.

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