Daniel / Homeschool

The Way of the Bunny Trail

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People usually refer to “bunny trails” as things that get us off course.  But so far, as far as homeschooling goes, the bunny trails usually prove to be the most productive paths we navigate.

This morning after breakfast, I had a few things in store for us when Daniel approached me with a book that ended with a “how to” section on making a snowman craft.  He had seen this craft idea weeks earlier and had asked about it a few times.  Thinking he’d lose interest, I told him he could make him if he’d like, but I wouldn’t be able to help much.

He proceeded to read through the list of instructions (with some word help from me) and item by item, gather what was needed from the long list.  Then he followed directions and completely on his own, he assembled a snowman craft.  (Disclaimer:  I should clarify that I DID help with the rubber cement part, mostly because Fernando has told me on more than one occasion that he used to eat rubber cement as a kid.  You know, just in case the tendency is genetic.)

It was slow going, and honestly the craft concept wasn’t necessarily unique, but I was extremely impressed by what I saw in Daniel this morning:

  • Fine Motor Skills (cutting, gluing, taping, tracing, etc)
  • Sequencing (following the order suggested in the instructions)
  • Reading (the list of materials and the instructions)
  • Determination (he encountered a few problems but pushed on)
  • Patience (this craft took an hour for him, and he stayed with it)
  • Problem Solving (his snowman had a few issues that required creative solutions)
  • Asking for Help (he involved me at all the right times, and none of the wrong times)
  • Initiative (he wanted to do the project and showed initiative even when I wasn’t encouraging him)
  • Clean-Up/Follow Through (he saw the project through to the end, including returning supplies to their homes)
  • Pride in Work (he owned the project and showed pride in it, showing it off to friends and Fernando later that day)

No matter what I had lined up for him to do instead, this unexpected project covered far more ground than I would have.

Long live the bunny trail!

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