Journey to a free life

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Whaaaat? A new post? October 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 9:27 pm

Okay, I suck.

Anyway, I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the Learning Plan I devised for Bailey for the 2009-2010 “school” year.  I don’t know if I did it right or not, but here it is anyway!

0. Being Present

Bailey is truly enjoying having autonomy over her life.  She is learning about herself and the world around her by simply having as much time as she needs to do whatever she wants, and by having enough time to process what she has experienced.

1. Self Design

Bailey likes planning her days.  She owns several calendars and clocks, and likes making charts for the family about chores, exercise, and healthy eating.  She sometimes plans her outfits-down to the accessories-a week in advance.  We use a pseudo-mnemonic device to remind her of what needs to be done at bedtime.  (We call it “The P’s:” Pajamas, Potty, Polish (her teeth), Pets, and Plants.)  I also intend to get Bailey to help me make meal plans and grocery lists.
Resources:
Calendars, clocks, paper of all kinds, rulers, pens and other stationery.  Cookbooks, internet sites and TV shows about cooking and organizing.

2. Wellness, Health, Physical Activity

Bailey prefers solo or small group fitness activities like Wii Fit, swimming, bike/scooter rides, and going for walks.
Resources:
Bailey has most of what she needs for the above activities but may require a swim pass.

3. Languaging/Communication

Reading
Bailey loves to read and generally goes through 2 or 3 chapter books per week.  She likes humour and stories about girls her age.  She recently discovered the Young Adult section at the library and is hoping to challenge herself with some titles from that section.
She almost always watches TV with the subtitles on because she likes to learn new words.
Resources:
Library, bookstores.

Creative Writing
Bailey will continue to write stories, song lyrics, and poetry on the computer.  She also wants to try her hand at stop-motion animation so would need to write a script for that.  She also loves spelling and would like to try entering a spelling bee.
Resources:
Dictionary, thesaurus, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves,” Canwest Canspell Spelling Bee study guide.

2nd Language
Bailey has expressed an interest in learning some Esperanto.  She also likes it when I can tell her the French word for things as I have a background in French Immersion.  She and I have also discussed learning the language of our people, the Nlha’7kapmx.
Resources:
Esperanto: online courses
French: French-English dictionary
Nlha’7kapmx: try to find an elder willing to teach us, travel to Lytton for lessons.

4. Relational Skills

Bailey will continue to enjoy her friendships with the many adults in her life.  She is fortunate to have so many people in her life who enjoy spending time with her and who want to share their talents with her.
She will also continue to play with her peers and work to make these encounters successful for all.
Bailey also enjoys discussing “life” with her parents, covering topics such as the value of being different, dealing with difficult people, and honing one’s leadership skills.
Resources:
Family conversations, adult friends and mentors, Unitarian Universalist congregation.

5. Humanities

Medieval Life
As a family we like to study the late middle ages and early Renaissance period as we play in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism).  We attend SCA events including watching her stepdad at his swordfighting practice.  We also read about the era and discuss what life must have been like back then.  Bailey likes to compare how we play with the reality of the period (ie: most SCAers dress like the nobility whereas most people of the time were peasants).
Resources:
Fellow SCA embers, library books, movies.  Official SCA website, museum display.

First Nations
Bailey is proud of her Nlha’7kapmx heritage and dances in the one Pow Wow per year that we try to attend (Lytton Rememberance Day powwow).  She likes reading about legends, too, and I think she would love to hear stories from elders.
Resources:
Friendship Centre, Relatives, library, “Donna Meets Coyote.”

Geography
Bailey loves to learn about where she is in the world and where other people are and other events happened.  Maps fascinate her, and she loves to spend time exploring Google Earth.
Resources:
Google Earth
Backroad Map Books
Road Maps
She would like to get an atlas, a globe, and possibly a topographical map.

6. Self-Actualization

Bailey lives in her head a lot of the time, and often shares profound observations about the world and herself with me.  She also enjoys taking quizzes in magazines and writing in journals that have probing questions in them.
Resources:
Discovery Girls Magazine, Journals such as her “My (Not-So) Perfect Life” book.

7. Numeracy

Bailey had math scared out of her from her years in public school so resists anything that reminds her of those days with claims that she is “bad at math.”  Nevertheless, she doubles recipes, counts her allowance, plays chess, estimates tax, makes predictions, and measures things.
She will continue to do the above and is also looking forward to playing with some new resources (listed below) that I mentioned to her as possible Self-Design purchases.
Resources
She would like to try out an abacus as well as work with Cuisenaire Rods and expand our Lego collection.  As a family we play board games and Bailey is open to the idea of trying a Dungeons & Dragons game.

8. Living Skills

Cooking/Baking
Preparing food for the family continues to be a joy for Bailey.  She is looking forward to helping with meal planning and grocery budgeting.
Resources:
Numerous cookbooks and recipes found online and in magazines.  A friend has offered to teach her how to make bread from scratch.  Grandpa makes sourdough bread.

Computers
Bailey is adept at quickly finding information online, knows not to believe everything she reads, and to consider the source of her information.  In addition, her typing speed is increasing as she writes stories.
Resources:
She may wish to try Mavis Beacon typing and may require printing supplies.

9. Science

Nature
Despite her fear, Bailey is interested in learning about insects.  She appreciates seeing creatures up close.  She also likes feeding birds at our feeder.
Resources:
A magnifying glass and microscope would help Bailey see more detail.
She will continue to feed the local birds and learn to identify them with the help of Field Guides.

Our Universe
Bailey is interested in exploring the stars, and wants to know more about the sun and planets in our solar system.
Resources:
A telescope would help her see further.
Books and posters.

Field Trips
We are fortunate to have the Big Little Science Centre, a hands-on science museum, here in town.  Bailey also likes going to the Wildlife Park, the petting zoo, and to Grandpa’s garden and city gardens.
Resources:
The places listed above as well as (hopefully) some museums in Vancouver.

Scientific Experiments
Bailey is fascinated by “Rube Goldberg” devices and often tries to make them herself.  She likes simple machines, too.  She also loves watching shows on TV like Mythbusters and How It’s Made.  She is intrigued by chemical reactions, and loves making volcanoes, milk kaleidoscopes, and slime.
Resources:
Kitchen ingredients, books, internet, TV.  She would like to add a marble roller coaster set to her Rube Goldberg collection as well as some more pulleys and wooden blocks.

10. Creativity

Art
Bailey loves drawing and designing, painting, and sculpting.
Resources:
Sketch books, coloured pencils and pens, paints, charcoal, playdough.

Music
Bailey likes to tinker with musical instruments but is not necessarily interested in formal lessons at this time.  She has a guitar and a recorder, and wants a harmonica, small xylophone, and possibly a keyboard.  She also loves to sing.
Resources:
Musical instruments, microphone, CDs.

Drama
Bailey has been bitten by the acting bug and would like to try to find some work on TV and in film.  She is also interested in behind-the-scenes work, especially stop-motion animation.
Resources:
Performances at home for her family and/or recorded for others on our camcorder.  Using our digital camera and some video editing software to make movies.

11. Spirituality

Bailey enjoys attending services at the Unitarian Universalist fellowship.  She likes discussing controversial topics and seeing where she stands on the issue (for example, vegetariansim).  As a family we like to visit the Mediation Labyrinth located in a local park.
Resources:
Children’s program at UU fellowship, discussions with family.  Books, TV, internet.

12. Global Ecology
Bailey has a big heart and wants to contribute to her community and the world.  She participates in the Heifer Project through UU fellowship and will volunteer some time at Christmas to the Christmas Amalgamated program.
Resources:
UU Fellowship, discussion with family.  Books, TV, internet.

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