Last week NyGirl and I worked diligently at beginning a lapbook for American Girls, the Kaya series.

To be truthful, I haven’t been much of a project-oriented, lapbooking kind of homeschool mama.  I have been in LOVE with workbooks and notebooking since Day 1, and we used the classical approach last year.  I totally dug the Well Trained Mind books and forums. 

Perhaps it’s because I’m attracted to that method of learning because I learned best that way.  But I’ve quickly discovered that my children learn in ways that I haven’t been adept at teaching, which served as a nice wake-up call.

I can’t say I have since ditched workbooks, because I haven’t.  I still use them regularly for math (a combo of Saxon and AO Lifepacs) and Language Arts.  But I am using more hands-on methods to teach now so my kids can pick up and feel objects (our math programs always had great manipulatives, but adding more projects to other subjects like history help my daughter cement the lessons in her mind).

I really like what Mary Pride talks about in her book, when she says to “cut the twaddle”. A lot of what we parent teachers/teachers in general do is simply assign busy-work.

When I had an infant then young toddler these past 2 years, I had to learn to readjust my teaching methods for my then 1st grader to meet her needs and still be able to stay sane. 

That meant (for me) assigning lots more coloring and workbook pages than I would normally have liked.  And that was okay for then.

I guess I’d like to experience doing more projects with NyGirl this year.  She is a hands-on kind of girl, but is also a great auditory and visual learner too, so I really have a lot of choices I think with presentation.

It’s not that I need to “make learning fun” for her.  She already enjoys learning.  But for my kids, I want them to appreciate the journey of exploring ideas, and coming to valid conclusions, with limited help.  Maybe this is more of a Montessori method…I’m not even sure what to call it.  And one thing I know will help aid in this process is all of the online helps and technology available to us today.

So…NyGirl really enjoyed putting together her American Girl lapbook pieces…and we’ll have to do more of this I see.

Until next time…

About Demetria Zinga

Demetria is a homeschooling mom and mompreneur who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, two daughters, and a dog. She currently runs two podcasts for homeschool moms and moms in business, writes songs, and spends lots of time at coffee shops. Her goal is to be an encourager and motivator of women, helping them to find success and joy in homeschooling, business, and motherhood.

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