Each year I ask my kids a simple open ended question. The results are often entertaining, often encouraging and always insightful. I love getting a window into their hearts and their passions. Much of it I already know (encouraging) but some of it can be surprising as I realize they’ve been pondering ideas or themes I wasn’t aware of (entertaining and insightful). I like to write down their answers, word for word, in the notes section of my school planner and refer back to it throughout the year to guide and influence some of my curriculum choices, field trip ideas and library book check outs. I encourage you to take the time with your kids, one by one, and sit down and ask them…
‘What do you want to learn this year?’
Elias, age 11, entering 5th grade studies: ‘I would like to learn about robots. I want to learn about narwhals and animals that live in Australia and the Galapagos Islands. I need to learn about the benefits and downsides of logging to research for my book. I want to learn how to make stuff out of metal and learn some more art. I want to learn about species of otters and also animals I’ve never seen before or ever learned much about. I also want to learn about the rainforest and about parrots and parakeets and other birds that are similar to parrots. I would like to learn more about the red fox and other foxes and wolves, also arctic foxes, I like those, and wild dogs. I want to learn about knights and history and stuff. And I want to learn more about machines, and planes- the fighting and the not-fighting ones. I want to know about frogs and all kinds of birds. I want to learn about hippos. I would like to go on more adventures and I want to learn about more artists and inventors. I would like to to on some go-carts and I want to do different kinds of art, all sorts.’
Hannah, turning 10 in one month, entering 5th grade studies: ‘I want to learn how to sew dresses for myself. I want to learn break dancing. I want to do more swimming and swim faster. I want to learn how to crochet. I want to learn more languages and how to ride a horse. I want to be a better draw-er. I want to learn more songs (to sing). I want to paint more and do more crafts and hands on things. I want to go on big bike rides and to the zoo and travel more. I want to learn about more cultures and people of other places. I like having family events; like movie and game nights and stuff like that. I want to know how to do my hair better and in more styles than a headband. I want to earn money. And also I want to read more books and carve and work with metal.’
Bayus, age 6, entering 1st grade studies: ‘Science! But with real science stuff. Wooohooo! That is the best, do you think that is a very cool idea mama? Ummm, and nothing else.’
So, what do you want to learn this year?