I often hear my husband say,
“In order for meaningful learning experiences to happen, it is the teacher’s responsibility to present the lessons to her student in an interesting, relevant and accessible manner!”
Yes, this is a wise phrase that I’ve heard my husband share hundreds of times and one with which I heartily agree. Indeed, Five in a Row was written in an attempt to make the lessons as interesting, relevant and accessible as possible. With that in mind, it is such great fun to hear from those of you who use Five in a Row. Many of you have written to share how often during your week your children exclaim, “Look Mom, that’s like what we just learned today (or last week, month, etc.)!”
Now, I had anticipated that you wise teachers would sometimes look ahead at the lessons and occasionally have certain learning activities (a field trip or such) ready for certain units. However, I love the fact that not only can you look at the lessons and see activities around you in which you all can participate, but you can actually begin to expect that the types of lessons your children are learning will be relevant in their lives. How many times have you taught a lesson on France and the Eiffel Tower, for instance, and then your child sees a billboard as you drive down the highway and shouts, “Mom! There’s the place where Madeline lives!” “The Eiffel Tower!” or “Paris!”? Every week you can expect to find the lessons your children are learning having present day relevance in their lives. It may be a lesson in geography, such as seeing a magazine or billboard with familiar pictures or a science lesson such as buoyancy where your child recognizes yet another example of this principle in his daily life – such as a stick or a fishing bobber floating in a creek. Maybe through the character lessons in a story your child is quickly aware when he sees a person afraid or lonely. The examples are endless. Learning is exciting!
Through homeschooling you have the opportunity to be intimately acquainted with the lessons your children are receiving. The privilege of being aware of all that your children are learning helps you not only plan activities and field trips that will enhance their lessons, but it also helps you be excited with them when they see what they have learned popping up around them! Then you can experience the special joy of being excited together.