September 23, 2020

Organic Education for Young Children

Several years ago, Andrew Pudewa spoke at our homeschooling conference and he said something I’ll never forget:

The problem with trying to cover all the bases is that you end up going a mile wide and an inch deep. In other words, you know virtually nothing about everything.

He suggested delving deeply into one particular topic of interest, and in so doing, touch on everything else.

Thematic concepts jive with the vision for our children’s education and so far, learning together has been fun, organic, and life-integrated. There are few things more wonderful than seeing your children more eager to start “school” than they are to eat breakfast!

This week we are studying “Fall.” Besides learning to write her numbers and letters each day using the Rod and Staff Pre-K Series, we are also learning about God’s Word, government, science, math, art, English, home economics, and Phys Ed. We don’t use a curriculum to teach these things or categorize them as such, but it’s happening whether she realizes it or not.

Here’s a peek into our week and what *organic education for young children can look like in action:

Bible

After breakfast, we read the story of Naomi and Ruth. I chose this story as part of our theme because it takes place during harvest time. Our memory verse is Leviticus 23: 22:

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

We discussed what kind of principles God is trying to teach us through this verse and how we can apply them to our lives:

  • Why should we share from the bounty that God has given us?
  • Should poor people still work to get their food or should they rely on rich people to collect their grain and bake their bread? (the role of government, socialism)  Read Proverbs 10:5; 6:6-8; 13:11; 19:15
  • What things has the Lord blessed us with that we can give to someone else? Read Proverbs 11:25; 19:17; 22:9; 28:27
  • Who can we bless this week and how? (Make plans to visit a nursing home, invite someone over for dinner, or drop off toys or clothes to someone that could use them)

Math

  • Count, add and subtract with leaves.
  • Discover fractions while making pumpkin puree for our 7-month old (quarter, half, and whole pumpkin).

English (oral)

  • Use as many adjectives as you can think of to describe various “Fall” objects (i.e. leaf: big, red, thin, pretty, maple, broken, wide, etc.)
  • Read “Autumn Fires” poem by Robert Louis Stevenson  (Included in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers)

Science

  • Read Animals in the Fall Preparing for Winter by Martha Rustad, Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro and Seasons by Robin Nelson.   (More reading suggestions in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers)
  • Go on Treasure Hunt (Alphabetical list of objects in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers). Identify and collect items on the list using a field guide.

Discuss:

  • What is it called when animals go South in the Fall? Can you name some animals that do this?
  • How many seasons are in a year? What are they called?
  • What is a “cycle”?
  • Who made the Earth so that it is tilted?
  • What happens inside a leaf to make it change color?

Art

  • Make a “Thankful Tree.” (Instructions in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers)
  • Create a Corn Husk Doll. (Instructions in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers)
  • Paint a Pumpkin. (Instructions in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers)

Home Economics

  • Bake leaf-shaped sugar cookies and decorate them (Instructions in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers).
  • Dehydrate apple peelings to make Apple Twigs ((Instructions in 1 Week of Fall Activities and Printables for Preschoolers).
  • Make and freeze sweet potato and squash puree for the baby.

Phys Ed.

  • Rake leaves!
  • Hike through the woods for our Treasure Hunt.
  • Pick apples at an orchard.

*Organic education is also known as the Unit Study method.

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