Monday, January 14, 2008

Learning plan review -- Fiona

In August I blogged the results of the Learning Plan brainstorming sessions I'd had with Fiona, Sophie, Noah and Erin. For our family, Learning Plans have been the single most valuable part of the SelfDesign independent virtual homeschool program the kids have been enrolled in. Even though this year only two of them are part of the SelfDesign program, we've done up Learning Plans for all of the kids. They truly enjoy the planning process, and the periodic informal and more formal revisiting of the plan. It's their chance to generate a wish-list for things they'd like to learn, and to think aloud (and be heard!) about how they want personal and family priorities to be set.

Now it's January, a good time to do an organized re-assessment of where we're at and revise the plans as appropriate. We look at what we've struggled with and neglected. We look at where energy and interest have gone instead. And we think anew about where we want to go from now. Here's Fiona's review.

Struggles / Oversights: Fiona hasn't got comfortable dunking her head underwater yet. We haven't been rock-climbing since July. We'd loaned out and then totally forgotten about the FlashMaster. Forgot about origami around about the beginning of November too. We haven't created any home-made books to inspire her reading and writing. We bailed on organizing the "World Tour" geography co-op because it seemed overly problematic and my kids were very lukewarm about it at best. She lost interest in music reading during the fall, and didn't really warm up to the keyboard improvisation program I hoped she'd enjoy.

Successes / New Developments: She has done a bit of ice-skating, which she enjoys, and she did mess around a lot with ropes and harnesses in September and October what with the treehouse and all. She had a lovely adventure with our canoeing/kayaking trip, camping in the wilderness and enduring long days and cold nights and experiencing first-hand the challenges of self-propelled self-sufficient wilderness travel. She has rollicked through both the Miquon Orange and the Miquon Red books, as well as playing reams of mathematical games. And we're doing a co-op ethnic cooking club with another family that is giving some interesting exposure to kitchen skills and different countries and cultures. And her violin learning has moved ahead far more quickly than I'd expected. She's got the knack of hoop-loom knitting and has begun to get traditional knitting figured out. Her reading is steadily improving and her confidence level is high. She's really enjoying the fact that I'm supplementing my reading aloud targeted at Noah and Sophie with some simpler novels more at her level. She continues to blog intermittently and to write notes, captions and lists with pencil and paper regularly.

Future directions: She wants to find some origami paper and the FlashMaster. She wants a pet rabbit. She wants her own garden plot. She'd like to move ahead into the Blue Miquon book. She wants to get back to note-reading practise on violin. She'd like me to work with her on piano two or three times a week. And she thinks that making her own books and booklets would be fun. Some of these things we can do for sure, easily. Some will take some effort. Some are topics for ongoing consideration. Can a little kid living where we do keep a bunny safe from bears, coyotes and weasels? We'll have to think about that one.


  1. People often keep indoor rabbits, like you would a cat. Doesn't an angora rabbit sound lovely?

  2. Yes, I've certainly though about a house rabbit. The problem is that we have less than zero space in our house. We are crammed in here like sardines already. I can't imagine where a rabbit cage would fit, let alone a small indoor pen (I've heard too many horror stories about free-range rabbits chewing on electrical cables).

  3. I had several rabbits when I was little. We had one outside and the rest inside. The one we had outside, we kept in a cage that was elevated and roofed. His name was Thumper and he was leash trained. The ones we had inside were litter boxed trained and kept in cages. We only let them out supervised.

    Also wanted to comment that I have been reading your blog for a while now and I love it. You and your family inspire me.


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