This week’s review comes with a little glimpse into our homeschooling life…
Peepo! is another classic that is one of my favourites, both because of its beautiful rhyme (I almost sing or chant my way through the book!) and the wonderfully detailed illustrations. We get to go through a day in the life of a little baby, seeing the world through his eyes. He and the text are on the left-hand page and then just a glimpse of the picture through a circle on the right-hand page, before you turn over and see the full extent of his little world. I chuckle at one picture where his big sister is beaming close up, as it seems to me that JoJo must get that same view pretty often!
We love the repetition in this book, and yelling out together “Peepo!” as well as pouring over the different activities and sights in each page. The start of the book has a selection of pictures from different pages and it is fun to work out which one is found where.
As for using it in homeschooling, as I am discovering there are so many different ways and approaches so it can be quite mind boggling knowing which one to go for. I love routine and structure, so should I have the day laid out subject by subject? But spontaneity is great too, and I am learning that children learn best when they are interested and ready, so does that lead me more towards autonomous learning, or unschooling? I am still pondering these!
But one approach I do like very much is Unit Studies, where you take a subject or theme, and build all sorts of learning from that root. This particular approach is used in an idea I love called “Five In A Row”, a curriculum by Jane Lambert which involves reading a book (chosen for its quality of language and story) five days running and each day doing a different activity relating to the book, be it language related or maths related or art related etc.
The author has done all the work in finding the books and drawing up the related activities, but as ever the main disadvantages are that it is pricey and from an American viewpoint (not to mention most of the books seem to be out of print!). Just like these posts were inspired by all the wonderful books that we have in this country that I never see mentioned on the US blogs and homeschool pages, so I wondered if I could put something together myself. I am making my first attempt this week and it is going well -yesterday we read Peepo! and then drew our own pictures and made up our own text (not quite as poetic!!):
LissaLou did a picture of Neverland and CassCass of…hmm, well! In her own words (spot her efforts at rhyming!):
He sees a hand, a finger
Nail varnish, abinger
And a crocodile in a jar and a apple and a pineapple
Baked in a car!
Today we discussed all the rhyming words, tried to replace words with alternatives that still fit the rhyme (LissaLou pointed out that the result was nonsense, which helped show how carefully authors craft their books!). LissaLou and I then sorted the ones spelt the same to the ones spelt differently but still pronounced the same (go on, remind me of the technical terms!). Another advantage is that CassCass can also get involved, and she was getting the hang of finding the two rhyming words by the end. I am still musing on the next sessions but I think one will be the historical element, as the book is set a while back, so we can look at how life has changed (rare to see outside toilets for example!). Any other suggestions or other good books to use would be most welcome!