He is 8. But during this study of ancient civilizations we came across the Chinese belief that life starts at... conception. Ok, perhaps that's not so novel. What is novel about this teaching is how it is applied: the child is counted as being alive since conception, hence 9 months old (even 1 year old) at the time of birth! So Legoboy knows he began life in August and after 4 years running of being 5 years old (an age he wanted to be forever), he is now firmly decided that he is 9 and has been 9 since August. And indeed, I certainly now have more than 9 years of memories of this beautiful little boy, having seen him for the first time 9 years ago in early September!
(note on the link above - I can't find the book where we read that, and I am having trouble finding solid information on the internet about the belief - this article was the one that explained it the most, but it's not entirely my preferred article either - just saying: that's NOT the article Legoboy read!)
Well, so back to that time of transition - I had a LOT on my plate, we were just coming off of 3 months of non-stop sheer craziness of roller coaster experiences (I hate roller coasters, by the way) - and we just didn't get our new year in gear... until today! (this is being scheduled a bit out from the time I actually write this ;) )
Legoboy has been working with a weekly and a 2-weekly plan for 3 years now. At age 5 1/2 we started on a weekly plan, but it really more of laying out the plan for the week, then either at the beginning of the week or the beginning of each day, marking with an appropriate letter what was expected each day of the week. He had the option of doing more in each area as well, which he routinely did, but he was also learning how to budget his time, earn free time, get his responsibilities fulfilled, all while I was right there helping him.
By age 7, we were creating the weekly or 2-weekly work plan and he would rarely need to ask for guidance on what to do and when - he had the plan, we'd already discussed it, he knew the expectations and he had his personal research. There were times I would do as my training and theory albums suggests and ask during our planning sessions, "When do you plan to work on this?" or "What is your plan for this project?" and provide feedback based on his answer. If it's a great idea, call it what it is. If he has a not so great plan ("I'll do that one on the last day of the week" - translation: I am putting that one off because "I don't really want to do it" OR "I am putting it off because I need help and I don't know how to ask for the help I need despite my insistence that I don't need help"), then I provide a suggestion or even a requirement: "It is Monday 9AM; this particular aspect of the project or this math practice (or whatever it is) needs to be done by 2PM Tuesday." or "Let's meet about (this thing that is troublesome) at 1 pm on Wednesday and we will work on it together." I am telling him at that point that I am helping, not asking him.
This has worked well for almost 2 years! But I think he's hitting that odd pre-puberty thing that boys hit around age 9. Yeah. HARD. Oh the Rebellion! He still has a heart of gold, but there is a new creature living in that body!
So here we are at 8 1/2, re-adjusting how we do our Montessori work plan yet again. I love following the child - not a dull moment! During this transition time, he needs a lot more hand-holding, but at the same time, he needs to prove his independence, while continuing to cultivate proper relationship skills and practical skills to have a strong foundation for the adolescent years ahead (did I just think 'adolescent' and 'my son' in the same sentence? Oh, I'm going to cry.).
So here is what we spent 4 hours working out: