The View from the Classroom Window

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lisa Proposes. . . a Monthly Vintage School Day!

Okay, moms, here is the idea:

Once a month, preferrably at the end, we gather at Vintage in the gym (or classrooms, if we get the green light) for learning, games, stress management and structured educational mayhem! The idea I have is based upon the old time one-room schoolhouse model, so all ages of kids could participate. Here is what it might look like:

--a planned theme for that day, with appropriate activities, say a book/mini-lesson and hands-on activity/craft. Moms can take turns volunteering with this, but it is my idea so I will be glad to do it if no one else does. : )
BENEFIT: you can check off school for that day if you want! Group learning! Your child learning to respond to teachers other than yourself!

--circle/sharing time, where each child (and mom) can share with the group one thing he/she has completed or learned that month.
BENEFIT: built-in incentive (for both mom and kids) to buckle down and finish that project that is getting dragged out a little too long. Kids get to share their accomplishments. Moms get to be inspired by other moms and encouraged by each small success.

--an old-fashioned spelling bee! we all work from the same spelling list and when we gather had a spelling showdown, where the kids all line up and we start with the easy words and everyone gets three misses before they have to sit down.
BENEFIT: spelling is worked into the month, kids are excited to practice words knowing they will need to know them to do well in the game

--recitations! each child shares something from memory or reading--a scripture verse, a poem, a short story he/she wrote.
BENEFIT: practice speaking in front of a supportive group, memory skills, helping your child know by heart something you decide belongs there. ; )

--at least one planned game (I would love it if moms took turns planning and leading this one--not my strength, although I have lots of ideas)
BENEFIT: P.E.! learning group dynamics, following rules, improve gross motor/coordination, good for the body and spirit!

And we would structure this so that the sitting and speaking and activities are nicely balanced. And of course there should be some unstructured playtime in there too! Maybe combined with a snack time while moms chat?

ANY homeschooling family would be welcome! (chance to share the love with the greater Santa Cruz area homeschoolers) No child would be forced to participate in any of the activities--or, shall we say, such forcing would be up to the teacher mom of that particular child. BUT we would expect everyone to come ready to participate in the overall spirit of the gathering, so the other kids are not distracted from their learning experience.

I am imagining the whole thing would take at least 3 hours--more with snack and free play, probably. We could structure the morning too so that moms could know what they would miss if they came late, or left early, and plan accordingly if they could not/did not want to be there the whole time. (3 hours seems long, but it will fly by!)

I spoke with Lee Purkey and we have his blessing. So now, please post your feedback here as to what YOU think of the idea. Since at this point it is my idea, I will take full ownership of it and will gladly get it all going--in Feb if at least a few of you are interested. But if anyone has ideas for tweaking the gathering, please do let me know. I do suggest that if anyone wants to make changes to the overall plan, then she should be willing to implement them. Sound fair? : ) I know not everyone will get excited about the things that excite me! But at least this plan is a start!

And somebody please help me with a name for the gathering!

Becky and I had talked about having an "old-school" Valentine's Day party, so we could have our first one that day next month, and then have the next one at the end of March. (It does not have to be at the end of the month, but that works really well for the way my brain works, esp. if trying to finish projects for sharing time)

I look forward to hearing what you think!



rosewillow said...

I LOVE it, im in! Sounds absolutely inspired and just what we need... let try to start coordinating on what day works for everyone because that always seems to take a little time to organize. Thanks so much Lisa for thinking this up and let me know what i can do to help. Willow

Blessed said...

Thanks, Willow. : ) Lee Purkey said mornings would be best/easiest to get the gym, since some local private schools use the gym in the afternoons (don't know which days). frankly, i am much more inspired to leave home in the mornings, so would prefer that time slot anyway. some of us have martial arts on tues/thurs at 10:30, so probably those days are out. So for me, either Mon, Weds or Fri morning from about 9/10 until 12/1 would be great. And I propose when we do find a slot that seems to work well for everyone that we make it the same every month--like, the last Fri of every month.

(sweet bio photo, by the way!)

McNabb Clan said...

incredible idea!! I propose you take good notes, and share your incredible ideas for those unable to attend. :) wish i could help!!

mommasara said...

we could call it old school :0
I think this is an awesome idea, and we want to help!
any day but Monday would be great for us-Fridays sound great.

McNabb Clan said...

i was just reading this again, and thought it might be good to create some guidelines: like age limits, parents required to be in attendance/volunteer, so that you aren't taken advantage of. maybe you don't mind, but it could get out of hand. sorry i am adding my input...and I am not even there. miss you tho!!