|Reading The Remarkable Journal of Professor Gunther von Steuben|
|Teacher guide; student text; Journal (reading/writing); DVD set|
The DVD does most of the teaching, with a lesson watched each of three days a week. There is a bonus DVD on grammar in case the child needs some additional work there; otherwise the program assumes the child has a good foundation there. Each of the core lessons are followed with a tiny number of pages done in the...
student book: focuses on exercises which clarify their topic, get them thinking about their topics, looking at different styles of writing, reading some short story selections and analyzing.
Write in the journal 5 days a week - instructions are given on the DVD. It alternates between the "Professor" and sets of blank pages to be filled in by the student. In the beginning days, the student writes sets of questions that come to mind - could be unrelated to one another - just to get started on "thinking": just asking the questions. Later they start to look at how to find the answers to those questions. Hm. Sounds a bit like "research" ;) The journal assignments build from asking questions, to describing interesting details, to a 5-sentence paragraph, to dialogue, to a paragraph describing a person, to a paragraph "mini-story" - and that's just the beginning!
If you follow the program to a T, it comes out to 3 days a week of DVD and workbook; 5 days a week of writing in the journal. Not very much time spent at all, which is great for someone with a full schedule. I really like this simplicity, because it means we have so much more flexibility with it when it comes to possible sickness, scheduling, and focusing on developing relationships with other people.
This first week is picking a theme - Legoboy is doing all the exercises in this section even though he has his theme already so that he gains experience for the future, when perhaps he won't have a topic already picked out that is acceptable to the current authority - i.e. college.
This is where I am (again!) so in love with the Montessori method of education and living. We keep things to the essential keys - and then we can flesh out interests, pull in other resources at will, and enjoy the learning process. Yes, I'm gushing. ;) I enjoy these moments as they come!