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We are organized for summer learning. Honestly, I think organization is the key to happiness. And by organization, I mean systems. Which equal routines and peace. Our key learning and organization components are: a learning space, a learning time, and learning options.
The reason I’m so excited is because the last few years weren’t my best for organization. We moved to a new house, and held two mortgages for 18 months. Half our furniture was staging our old house and we couldn’t afford to buy anything that wasn’t on clearance from Goodwill. I had piles instead of shelves, lawn chairs instead of a couch. Add in JJ’s too-long seizures, starting my writing career from nothing, and trying to help AJ with her anxiety, and the last thing I could manage was to implementing organizational systems in place. I was lucky to dress myself in clothes that weren’t inside out. (Although, I still do that.)
But, now I’m able to breathe for a number of reasons — seizure medication for JJ, selling the other house, and a diagnosis of SPD for AJ. And, I’m so happy to say that for the first time in this house, I’m finding systems that work! I haven’t felt this good in a long time.
Here’s what we’re up to at the Taylor house.
Each girl has a beautiful learning box which holds options for the week. I will rotate these options often. (I bought the boxes at Michaels.)
After AJ’s early morning swim practice, we have an hour of learning time. This is time that I devote to them – playing games, reading books, making books and so forth. The girls must pick something in math and reading to do during this time. They know the choices which include
I don’t have to tell you that when children get to choose and direct their own learning, the motivation stronger. We know this already, right? So, during learning time the choices are:
- something from their learning box
- a learning game
- an activity mom thinks of (one day last week, JJ and I read How to Teach Your Slug to Read, a cute new book from Marshall Cavendish. The slug labeled things around his house so we did, too.)
- reading with mom
- listening to a book on tape
- reading alone
- writing anything (journal, story, poem, postcard, thank you, list, . . . )
Learning is fun. The reason I started Imagination Soup was to share ideas on making learning engaging and fun. So, this must be a key component, one that I always include as best I can either by variety, individualization, games, music, movement, self-directed, or whatever – there are lots of ways to make learning fun. But you already know that!
What about you? Are you organized for summer learning? What are you doing?