Organizing the kid’s day

Sorry to the knitters but I’m trying to work some stuff out and writing about it helps. And some of you give me very good feedback and support for which I thank you.

I’m only a few days into this thing and we are still working out a lot of things. I initially overestimated the amount of input the kid would want into deciding what to do. Too much talking, apparently. So the last couple of days she has said that I can just make a schedule for the next day. We’ve talked a little about what might be on it but not much. At various points this week she has been writing a list of what she wants to learn. I showed her Doc’s list which has some interesting things but she didn’t do more than skim it. I have to remember that she is only 8.

We started with a schedule that looks a bit like a school timetable or my diary. We had discovered on that fateful day off last week that 30 minutes seemed like a good time period for lots of things so it was in 30 minute slots. But things kept taking longer or she lost interest or stuff got moved around. She seems to like having a schedule but isn’t so worried about the detail of what gets done when. So today I tried this (BEWARE, it’s a PDF). I used those square bullet points in Word and increased the font size so she can use them as tick boxes. I’m hoping she’ll like it.

For those who do look, don’t panic about the fact that it is all grammar and math tomorrow. The beginning of the week was almost all History (en français). And we’ve been talking about ‘project based learning’ focusing on L’histoire de la Nouvelle France. We have some great books from the public library. And I’ve found this on the website of the Museum of Civilization. J. put me on to this trick — look under ‘educators’ or ‘teachers’ on the museum website. She figured there might be worksheets or something to help focus a visit but this is even better. And the advantage of living in the National Capital Region is that there are lots of museums so we will go over there too.

I’ve been trying to think of geography things to go with this. So far, I’m thinking some map study of both historical and contemporary maps of the region, some study of rivers as transportation routes and types of boats used (including canoes), and maybe something on natural resources and trade. There seems to be a bibliography on the Fur Trade in that period on the museum website.

The other thing we have learned is that the kid needs to do some exercise before she sits down to work. Hard to sit still and concentrate otherwise. Today we went for a walk in the neighbourhood. Nothing much; just over half a mile (we have a pedometer). Tomorrow we are going swimming. There is a family swim at 9:15.

I’m also trying to keep physical activity and physical education in my mind. I know I need to do something systematic here and at some point I will sit down and work out some learning objectives. We (both) need to do regular exercise. But the kid also needs to learn about different reasons to do exercise (cardiovascular fitness, muscle strenght, flexibility …) and also develop skills that will serve her well throughout her life. We went swimming on Tuesday in the 2 p.m. session. She seems keen to incorporate swimming twice a week into the schedule and she will also continue to take lessons once a week. I will need to learn more about appropriate strength and flexibility exercises and work out a way to incorporate them into our routine (maybe in the morning). All help gratefully received.

On the kid’s list of things to learn is sewing. She got me to start teaching her when we were making her Halloween costume (Florence Nightingale; it requires an apron which is all straight lines). Specifically she wants to learn to make a skirt, pants, and a shirt, in that order because she, quite rightly, thinks that is the order of increasing difficulty. We started on the skirt today. I even had fabric and a suitable pattern in the stash (my fabric stash for this sort of thing is not huge).

Actually, I didn’t start out thinking we would use a pattern. We talked about what kind of skirt — plain with an elastic waistband. We measured her hips after a discussion of what might be the most useful measurement. Then I talked a bit about ease. We measured two skirts in a similar style (one knit, one denim), calculated the ease and talked a bit about why the knit skirt maybe didn’t need as much. Then we found the pattern and worked out which size to make based on her measurements. The fabric has quite a big print, so we also discussed how to position the pattern and how to make the front and the back positioned the same. She paid attention to all of this though she let me do all the pinning and cutting and marking. I don’t think there is time tomorrow to work on this but I think we’ll come back to it soon. And it is summer fabric so the skirt can’t be worn until May anyway.

I think that is enough. As always I welcome comments, ideas, whatever. Sorry about the lack of knitting. As you can see, I’ve been otherwise occupied. Once I get the new time management thing worked out, I’m sure knitting will happen again.

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5 thoughts on “Organizing the kid’s day

  1. Think C would like me to have the last item on my daily planner (“fait un peu plus de menage”).

    Sounds good. Like Doc, hadn’t come acroos her before.

    Bonne chance (is if fem?)

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  2. If you’re doing physical education every day, you’re definitely exceeding provincial guidelines.

    Something I learned yesterday that physical educator types think is important is both leisure-based p.a. that is fun and non-leisure based p.a. (ie walking to the store instead of driving) so that F. learns that being active is just what people do.

    So walking to the library can “count” as your physical activity period in your schedule sometimes.

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  3. How would F feel about organized sports? I was never exposed to that as a kid, and I think it can teach valuable skills. It could provide peer group opportunities, and team sports usually involve a structured physical exercise regimen for training. I suppose she’s too young for that, but if she had a coach, you’d have a built-in p-e consultant. Also, how about yoga? Mom-kid yoga, perhaps with a video, pefore starting the day, could be a great start for both of you.

    It’s kind of wonderful to see how excited and creative you are with all this. I love what you’ve done–it sounds like a great way to learn.

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  4. I love the tick list. My Abigail would have LOVED that. (and thanks for warning about the pdf)

    I think it’s fabulous how much effort and thought you’re putting into this.

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