We started first grade off with a language arts block. Using our Enki curriculum, we will work with fairy tales during the next four-five weeks to bring different consonants to life. We start Enki’s three fold learning process with open intake, which in this case, takes the form of reading the fairy tale. As I mentioned earlier, our first fairy tale was “Little Falcon.” The second step in the three-fold process is digestion, – first we let the story sleep for at least a 24 hour period, then Atticus recalls the story and then works with the story through art. The next morning we went for a walk and I started recalling the story with Atticus. He remembered most of it, but required much prompting. For our artistic digestion, we tried a “led” drawing. The idea was that I would sit next to Atticus, tell a shortened version of the story while drawing a picture, which he would copy. This did and did not work. He did watch and copy as I drew first areas of dark, and then light and then darkened in the forms (I’ll try and post more about this later). As soon as he figured out what the forms were going to be(in this case, the mountains, the boy in the story and the gates) he didn’t wait to see what I was doing, but immediately started drawing his own version. You can see this from our two drawings:
I didn’t say anything though, and after the drawing we went on to other things. The next day, I told him there was a surprise in the drawing – two letters – and asked if he could find them. He easily found the G (which I added to his drawing the night before – I felt success this first time was important) and after I prompted him to look at his mountains, found the M. This is one of the reasons why led drawings work well in working with letters – if the child wants to find the letter in his or her own drawing, they need to follow the parent’s lead. I will try this a few more times before changing to a different type of artistic digestion.
We also read the verse together from where I had written it down:
I plan on using a chalkboard in the future, but haven’t gotten around to getting one at this point. You can see in my version where Atticus corrected some of my “mistakes” in making letters 😉 We then went through the third step: output. Atticus wrote in his Good Book the two letters:
Interesting layout! And then he copied as much as he could of the verse from where I had propped it up against the wall.
He loved, loved, loved the copywork and begged me to make the “forest paths” (I prepared the background of the page with yellow and blue paths to keep his work in line) smaller so that he could get more of the verse on the page. Finally, he was able to “read” the verse by himself – and our first cycle was finished!