Sunday, July 11, 2010

A "Things To Do" Curriculum

Well, the time has come that I have found myself with an older child.
According to me, our home is pretty much a little child's paradise.  As are most homes, maybe.  Certainly, all of you with Littles that are reading.  : )
And now I find myself with a child that is shifting out of that sort of play, and haven't quite found my bearings, yet, as this is a brand new thing.
I am creating a list.
A list of ideas and things to have at the ready for investigation and exploration.

It won't be complete, and it will be updated and reposted as I add things to it.
It also won't hold the majority of things that we learn from - things that we find dropped in our path, daily investigations done due to questions raised, and things that are already a large part of our everyday learning, games, and explorations.
And some of these things we are already familiar with, but that I think are worth noting, and don't want to skip over because we are overlooking them.
Lastly, some of them are beloved things we couldn't possibly forget, but are mentioned just because we love them and maybe others would like to know about them, too.

So... here's our list!

recorder (that means learning to read the music and learning to play)

catapult (a table-top one is coming!  :) )

trebuchet (science here)

mythology (we have an inkling or two, but more studies are in order)

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself  (book)

Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself) (book)

Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself  (book)

World Myths and Legends 25 Projects You Can Build Yourself  (book)

E-Guides Earth (a book with online links)

horse power  (love this.  Can't wait to share it.)

Young Scientist Concepts & Projects: Astronomy   (book)

Adventure Workshop (4th to 6th Grade):

fact books:
virtual fieldtrips from lists I've created at OLM (Too.)

cooking : (note for me: check out Pretend Soup and Salad PeopleThanks go to Slim!  Other recommendations??

Math 1-2 (Still loving this one!)

Jumpstart Advanced Third Grade (we're about half done)

Jumpstart 4th Grade Adventures

Jumpstart Advanced 4th Grade

Jumpstart Advanced Study Helpers

(Most of the stories will come from our book Tales From Shakespeare by Tina Packer, and we'll also be watching the BBC's Shakespeare Animated Tales.)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (again-- we love this one.)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Macbeth
  • The Tempest
  • Othello
  • As You Like It
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Twelfth Night
  • King Lear
  • King Richart III
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Julius Caesar
  • The Winter's Tale
  • Hamlet again?  

The Oregon Trail (5th Edition) (cd-rom)

Carmen Sandiego : Treasures of Knowledge (cd rom) 

Math Blaster  (cd rom)

Carmen Sandiego Math Detective  (cd rom)

Dk's The New Way Things Work  (cd rom)

Play With Us : 100 Games From Around the World  (book)

Daniel Boone
Mark Twain

The Call of the Wild

The Princess Bride

George Washington


Alice In Wonderland

History Dudes : Vikings

Illustrated History Encyclopedia's Ancient World - How People Lived In the Stone Age, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire

The Elements  (I so love this beautiful book!)

Chemistry Plus science kit

I would like to say - just to save myself some aggravation - that none of these things are outside the realm of my son's interest.  And that I don't expect to get through these things in an orderly, organized fashion!
These are simply things that we have readily available on-hand (I'm sort of a Collector :)  ), and that I know my Trev would be/is interested in.
I do not expect or care to check these things off, nor do I consider this a list to be completed in the next 10 Months.  ' Might take four years!  (Being added to -and adapted- freely, of course.)
It's merely meant as a list of "Good Grief, Mama -- what do you mean??  You have all of THESE great things about you!"

S'pose I should put in a Disclaimer at this point, and say :  
This list (of readily available) Does Not Mean that I do not reserve the right to be distracted and disarmed by the Fancy, the New, the Sparkly, and the Super Cool.

Ha!  That is a fine, fine beginning, don't you think??

I want to say "Hey" to Nikki, and mucho thanks go to her for putting the idea in my head to get this down, and to ask others to share, too.

Link to your post below, if you like!  I am hoping to get lots of ideas from others!
(And it's not limited to the Mediums - I'm considering making a list of things already about for Littles (Madeleine), for those that are new to how we do things 'round here. )

(There's no judging, here... if you love the material, put it in.)


  1. Was just talking to my oldest about putting our list for the fall. Looks like you have a nice start. I'll link back once we have a list to share! :D

  2. Awesome.
    I look forward to it. :)

  3. Damn've got a great list going. Seriously - this is why I love visiting here. SO much inspiration. you only (almost) four and I keep meaning to do this for us too. Where to start, where to start. Right now his only big interests are calculators and Rancid (the band.) Hmmmm...thanks for some big food for thought. <3

  4. Okay...that's inaccurate. He taught himself to read at 3 1/2 and is counting (and understanding) numbers well into the thousands. I do think one of his great gifts is patterns...and sequencing. to work on our list. xo

  5. dd-
    woot, woot.
    He can come over and discuss with (er - teach) numbers to Trev, then.

  6. awesome!!!

    My daughter is nearly 5 and I know what to do with babies, but not a little adult hahaha.

    Great list.

  7. I am SO drooling over the Leonardo book! I so want to get it.

  8. Ooh..."The Elements" is beautiful! Now it's on my wish list (I'm a bit of a collector myself!) The elements were such abstract why-do-I-need-to-know-this? stuff when I was introduced to them in high school. This would have been such a much more interesting way to learn them! Thanks for the recommendations.

  9. So this comes from the totally disorganized department. This post gets me all giddy excited for the things to come and where oh wait where is that bookshelf, not to mention the notebook. Once again you've got me thinking, thank you.

  10. Oh you're way ahead of me getting this good stuff put down in list fashion... my ideas and resources are still sort of scrambled in my head!

    We did LOVE the Leonardo inventions book last year and any book on the elements is welcome for my "medium".... :0)

  11. ok, second time to try to comment :)

    Great list! We have done quite a bit of this list, especially from the first part (catapult? trebuchet? check) with Daughter the Eldest, and now we are looking forward to similar adventures with Daughter the Younger, who, having "seen all that" wants completely different experiences - - good thing it's a big world. ;)

    We will certainly be checking out many of these great ideas, thank you so much for sharing!

  12. I've been meaning to do something similar, as I have a bad habit of not writing things down when one of my children expresses an interest in something. I do have a notebook that I started writing in a couple months ago, so I'll start with that. Hopefully I can come up with some stuff to post on my blog soon:)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. WHAT? Are you trying to tell me that he will grow out of being a Little and one day I will find myself living with...a Medium?

    I'm going to go stick my head in the sand now. Blah! ;)

  14. Mine are 4, but we LOVE doing hands-on projects. I buy a bunch of those types of books, and then take them out in the morning. The kids leaf through them and pick out things they think are fun. We've been loving ScienceArts - which kids through 9 at least would love. I just wrote a post about it a few days ago

    I'm also getting ready to do a post on the book Knights and Damsels. We're really into Knights and Castles here! We're also digging MathArts, which is geared towards 3-5 year olds.

    Thanks so much for that list! I have a huge computer file where I list great resources I come across for when the kids get a bit older. I got giddy looking at the Leonardo book, too!

  15. Hey Steph! I'm finally back online after 3 days of no computer. Anyway, awesome list, and yes I think it's something I am going to go about with much more intent as well.

  16. I love that Shakespeare is on your list! We're doing Just So Stories right now, and we LOVE them.

    Has Trev tried out Crazy Machines yet? We check out the Crazy Machines CD-Rom from our library--awesome fun physics.

  17. Julie - sounds interesting!
    I'll see if our has it.

  18. Perfectly timed. I am finding myself with a nine year old daughter who has declared herself as officially "big" ;) so I need to nuture that bigness with a whole new world of interesting stuff.

    She's big on chapter books and I am always looking for a new series. One we can recommend is the "The Wall and the Wing" set of books - we are one the second one and LOVE it! She read it aloud at and the whole waiting room listened in!!

    I'm inspired now, so off to do my very own list. Will post it here later.

  19. My oldest loves lists, even if we wiggle waggle, change, move, re-order, add to, remove when all the neighbors are going on and on about back to school meetings and supplies, he usually wants to make 'the list'. Which usually means his diodes, motors, petri dishes, frogs, notebooks, books, science kits, etc. Love it! :) YOur list looks awesome - you have so many resources. We don't have much room in this house, so I rotate stuff in and out, without being able to have too much 'on hand'.

  20. I was gone in July and missed this, so glad you linked to it recently. :) Love it. Lovely list.

    Klutz press Kids cookbook is good. So is a series of books with titles like "Holy Guacamole". Basically we check out new kids cookbooks at the library all the time. Love the Molly Katzen ones. :)

    Trev might love the game Age of Mythology or Age of Empires, that is big here and has led to a lot of of myth studies.

    Love it all. :) Thanks for sharing. My list is a bit more "school-y" sounding the way I wrote it out, but it would be easy to make it more fun and hands on sounding like yours. I blogged it last week at some time. :)

  21. OK, so it's up - as a seperate page no less!!

    I'm not finished, but there is some of the stuff we're doing up there...

  22. Ok - I wrote this comment out, thought I'd posted it but can't see it. So it may appear twice (sorry about that)

    My list is started - but very much a work in progress. It's here:


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!