Saturday, January 11, 2014

Preview: Mom's Book Club #3 | Lone Star Signers, San Antonio, TX

On Friday, February 7th, we'll be having our third meeting of the Lone Star Signers Mom's Book Club. So far, we've been fortunate to have pretty weather at our previous events--meeting at the park has been great for everyone!

I try to pick books that are easy to read, but still informative. Playful Learning has a ton of "simple activities to promote reading, writing, math, science, and social skills in children ages 4 to 8." (front cover)

Unfortunately, our library only has three copies of this book, so I am posting this early so I can get my copy back for other members of the Book Club. :) (If you are not local, feel free to read the book and share your thoughts with us--we'd LOVE to extend past the San Antonio city limit!)

Here are my "discussion starters"--feel free to come up with some of your own!

* Introduction: 
As a classroom-teacher-turned-homeschooling-mom, I find the background story of the author intriguing. It's interesting for me to see how far my thinking has come in the last five years, that this line on page 2 seems rather obvious to me: "...the curriculum of life, as experienced by children in their homes on a daily basis, is the most revolutionary teaching and learning that can take place." Um, yes--parents are GREAT teachers! Who knows our children better than us? :) Without getting (too) political, I just want to warn parents that today's schools are NOTHING like the schools we went to! Even the best teachers and administrators are losing their autonomy in their classrooms, and it's the children who are missing out.

* More from the Introduction (also page 2): 
"Current research demonstrates that children learn most effectively when they are actively engaged and enjoying themselves. Ironically, many of the conditions deemed most desirable for learning can be more readily be practiced at home than in school." You would think that this book is all about homeschooling, but the author intended for the activities included in the book to be supplemental to classroom learning. However you choose to use them, though, there are a ton of great ideas and I'm excited to implement a few with our girls!

* Still more Introduction: 
The first paragraph on page 3 really resonated with my personality type. :) "I found that I needed to put my agenda aside and just be with my daughters." I think the author and I could be kindred spirits after all. (Name that book!)

* Playful Learning Spaces: 
There are so many great, practical ideas in this section--I would love for you to share some of your playful learning areas on the Facebook event page! I'm planning on adding a family mail station to our home soon. What jumped out at you?

* Chapter 1 | Nurturing Young Authors:
My favorite college textbook was The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins. The book is sitting on my bookshelf in the classroom area of our home, and I still read it at least once a year. How wonderful, then, to find a quote from Ms. Calkins to start off this chapter!

I created a writer's notebook as described by Ms. Calkins (and on p. 46 of this book) when I was a college student--I actually have two from my classroom days packed away in a box. I need to go journal shopping with Addie so that we can begin to tuck away the treasures of our days. I cannot wait for her to be just a tiny bit older so that she can fall in love with writing, too.

We just completed the From the Heart activity listed on p. 43. Addie loved My Map Book, and we had a grand time listing her favorite things on a large poster of her heart. We'll definitely be making a mini-map for the front of her writer's notebook.

***I have compiled a list of favorite activities from (almost) every chapter--those that seemed most interesting & feasible for our family. I'll look forward to hearing about YOUR list at Book Club!


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