Tuesday, 24 July 2012

How I Plan

I'm sure there are home edders out there who plan their projects in line with a carefully ordered curriculum ensuring that each of the main disciplines is covered more or less equally.
I expect they create beautiful little timetables and feel a wonderful glow of satisfaction every time they cross off another step from their exquisitely structured day.
They probably check the recipe book every time they cook too.
 In case you failed to read that last line in a sufficiently sneering fashion I should elaborate: this not how I do things.
I don't really look down on people who do*, I'm sure they have wonderfully well planned and exciting days full of balanced and orderly learning, I simply can't do it and, to be honest, I'm not sure I'd want to.
 My planning process goes like this:

  • Think of something, e.g Dinosaurs.
  • List everything I can think of to do with that topic.
  • Come up with as many associated activities as possible.
  • Cut out all the bits a three year old probably can't do.
  • Put them into some sort of rational order.
  • Attack
So far it seems to work pretty well.
I'll confess it may look much more organised from Eleanor's point of view: she, after all, has no idea that her mother is essentially a flaky beatnik*** who is making it all up as she goes along, so she probably thinks I have selected each and and every activity for maximum educational benefit and placed it in the lesson plan with the care of Capability Jones bedding in a strangely recalcitrant buddleia.
It certainly looks a great deal more sensible when it's finished and the fruits of her labour are all laid out in the big blue project book.
So perhaps it doesn't matter that I bounce around the planning phase like a fluffy purple muppet, or that I choose topics based not on any educational guideline but on what sounds like fun at the time.
 Eleanor enjoys herself, I enjoy myself, Phoebe enjoys herself****, and everybody learns.
Which, honestly, is what I was planning all along.

*Which would, to take the recipe analogy a little further, be like Nigella Lawson** looking down on a three-michelin-starred chef.

** Only less glamorous, not so well paid, and without a camera spying on me every time I go to the fridge.

***Because no-one has taught her what beatnik means yet.

****Unless we manage to get the glue away from her in time.

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