Wednesday, September 04, 2013

We are not Charlotte Mason

I think Charlotte Mason classrooms involved less punching each other, fewer lego fights, and I bet she wasn't down with watching videos of trebuchets. I am feeling self-concious about twaddle because I'm reading For the Children's Sake right now, but after a lot of thought I've decided to class Phineas and Ferb as sort of educational, because it's good storytelling, has some history references, and provokes lots of good questions.

For instance, yesterday the kids asked what a chinchilla was. Here you go, kids!

And we're not getting one because they're nocturnal and messy. Even if there was an episode when Doofenshmirtz made an inator that turned a lot of people into giant mutant chinchillas. And over my shoulder right now I hear an episode that's a clever riff on The Shawshank Redemption, including a voice over that's supposed to sound like Morgan Freedman.

Nat partly read and partly recited a kids' book this afternoon. I'm trying to be more intentional about getting him to read, and it seems to be going okay, as long as the books have a lot of short words.


Thomas has been making hot dog-inators and cupcake-inators, so I'm eating dozens of imaginary delicacies, and Nat continues to make TARDIS and spaceship variations all day. I particularly like the TARD-Butts and TARD-Bots. I'm juvenile.

6 comments:

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Well I think CM should have been down with the videos of trebuchets. Today we looked up cuckoo clocks and peanuts. I love having the internet as an adjunct to my classroom. And yesterday it was pictures of terracotta warriors.
I've never seen Phineas and Ferb, though I know a few people who are big fans. I'm afraid of getting hooked so I will remain ignorant.

lissla lissar said...

It's not as addictive as Doctor Who :). It's a quite fun and not dumb kids show, full of cool inventions and silly cartoon violence. It's very self-aware, but not so much as to be annoying. I always get the feeling the writers and actors are all really enjoying it, and not suffering through. Some shows make me cringe with embarrasment for the actors, but not this one.

And the tunes are catchy.

I need to learn to be satisfied with small, good bits instead of feeling like I need to do lots of big, less good things. I haven't even introduced worksheets yet, but Nat spontaneously made me a card today that said, "Too mom, luv Nat." So, good.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

One thing I like about Saxon K is that it is very small bits. In fact I usually feel it is too minimal and add a bit more to the lesson. That means I always feel I'm going above and beyond, even in a math lesson that takes ten or fifteen minutes.

Yes about the small good bits. I'm definitely learning to be happy with a reading lesson that involved decoding one short sentence. That's the limit of Bella's tolerance for such things. But I can definitely see that we've made progress from last fall. Small progress, but progress nonetheless.

lissla lissar said...

I should look into it. I'd like to be a little more structured with math. Reading is still progressing by asking Nat to sound out a few words a day. I'm hoping to just quietly and gradually build up his sight vocabulary until he can handle short books on his own. And then on to Shakespeare and Dante!...

Anonymous said...

You should get guinea pigs. They're diurnal and totally fun. We've got two (they're better if they have a friend), and they're a riot. On the flip side, though, they do poop constantly. I think they excrete their body weight weekly, but at least it's dry. In any case, way better than a chin-chin!
-taxi

lissla lissar said...

Maybe when the kids are older. Currently the thought of having to take care of any more small animals makes me shudder. I have heard that guinea pigs make nice, intelligent pets. We'll put them on the all-kids-over-four list...