Women’s Equality/Goddesses Week-Sprouts Lesson Plan

What a week! August 26th is Women’s Equality week, and I think it’s super important for all people to know about history, though it’s not my personal strong suit. Being a woman and having a daughter, I think it’s important for her to know what women have gone through.

I do want to make a disclaimer that only so much can be put into a week long lesson plan. There is so much more I would love to include, so much more than is just as important, and so much more I plan on teaching to my child on our own outside of the Academy’s lesson plans. Things like Women of Colour’s history and equality, as well as transgendered women’s history and equality. Both are incredibly important and should absolutely be taught to children, and adults!
Women’s history and equality could probably be a year long study, and I had to fit it into a week long, appropriate for 2-3 year olds, fun, engaging way. With that said, just because I don’t mention a specific history, or go into depth about someone, or use a goddess who you disagree with doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s important. I’m just up against a lot of obstacles and deadlines! Please please please, feel free to replace all of the people/books/goddesses I included with people/books/goddesses that mean something to you! I want Oakborn Academy Lesson Plans to be customizable to fit you and your family and your beliefs. Continuing with that, I included people like Rosie the Riveter and Suffragettes, but I don’t go into detail about who these people are or what they did. That’s up to you as the parent to decide if you want to and if you do want to, this is where that ever important discussion comes in. Explain who these people are, why they’re important, why they’re important to you and your culture even more.

This was another week where things just didn’t go to plan! Apparently Uranus is in retrograde right now, which can make things “fun.” As an adult I’m struggling with it, so I can imaging Sprout is too!

Our art barely went to plan. Apparently I should have made the colour of the week brown because that was the only colour Sprout wanted to colour with! And so, I let her. Parents, life is so much easier when you just let them go and do what they want (to an extent, let’s not get too crazy). Trying to control every aspect of what they do is exhausting. As adults our lives are exhausting enough!

I let her do her thing.
You want to color everything brown so that it’s unrecognizable? You go ahead Picasso.
Oh you want to colour a dinosaur now? Oh so like.. just completely ignoring the toping of the week? Cool, here’s a T-Rex. Wow red! What a great colour choice!

Using scissors to cut purple paper and gluing, and colouring… All of her favourite things she just was not having this week.

Getting her to cut the purple paper was like pulling teeth. Getting her to glue them to the 15, again, send help. Suggesting she colour the Qq purple…How very dare I.

And so I gave up. Her papa did come in and was able to get her to put purple on the 15, otherwise it would not have gotten done! And that’s okay. It’s frustrating, but that’s life!

So, why am I telling you all of this “bad” and what seems like a failure? To be transparent. I could easily glue the strips myself, scribble purple and appropriate colours onto the art work, but who does that help? It offers a false image of parenting and home school. Neither of which are perfect. Some days are wonderful, other days I (and I’m sure you) want to rip your hair out, because “please just glue the tiny pieces of paper to the number 15. No, not the entire sheet of purple, just the small pieces. No please stop trying to sit on the dog.” etc etc.

Listen, yes I make the lesson plans, I write the blogs, I do it all. All on my own too if I might add. No one is helping me do these (and I wouldn’t want it any other way). That doesn’t mean our days and lessons are perfect. Some days I just give up. Totally honest! Okay, no school today. You clearly aren’t vibing it, so no school. Let’s do something you do want to do. Life gets so much easier when I let go. You should try it!

With all of that said, the rest of the lessons for the week got easier. And being honest, yes I avoided some because I knew I wasn’t in the mindset to handle them. Further proof from my Mama Note, you don’t have to do every lesson every day. You own the lesson plan…Do it later! And so we’ll come back to some of the more indepth lessons that she hasn’t been exposed to before (we’ve made Oobleck before, but never a volcano. Maybe we’ll do that this weekend!).

I love “teaching up” (if you don’t know what I mean, these lesson plans are designed to be for a higher skill level. I never think you should teach down to children. I think every lesson should be altered to fit an individual need). One thing I love about it is being surprised by my Sprouts skill level and I’m sure you will feel the same way when your Sprout does something that you initially thought they wouldn’t be able to do or comprehend. The only way you’re going to have that “omg wow” moment is by exposure, and you guys know that’s my big goal and word when it comes to schooling. Expose them to all things even if you think “no, that’s too hard for them.”

Let me give you an example from this week…
One of our lessons was something like Parent builds a block design with a few blocks and Sprout copies it.
To be honest, I though my girl would be too squirrely to actually do that, but I thought “hey, let’s try it, if it doesn’t work out, oh well. We’ll differ to just building with blocks.” That’s how you alter a lesson plan. Try the lesson as described and if it doesn’t work, differ to something easier.
I started with a few blocks of the same colour, all of different shapes. I explained what we were going to do:
“I’m going to build a tower and I want you to build exactly what I build.”
(Here’s where another one of my favourite words is going to come in).

And this is where discussion comes in handy! If you just build a design and go “okay go. Your turn,” You are setting your Sprout up for failure. We want a low failure rate and a high success rate. This will ensure your Sprout enjoys learning and will continue wanting to learn.

I didn’t just build and tell her to copy it. Because the blocks were different shapes it made it so much easier for her to see the difference, but also for me to say the different shapes.

“Okay, let’s start with the big block, then the long one on top and then we’ll put the small cube on top of that.”

I didn’t model this at all. If this is your first week with us, modeling is a technique I used when I was an ABA therapist. There are many ways of modeling and it basically sets the kiddo up for the highest success rate. In ABA there are many different ways we would model, but some I wouldn’t do with “neurotypical” kids. When I model for my Sprout, it’s simply putting whatever it is in the order it needs to be in and let her finish or pushing the item I need her to choose closer to her than the other choices. I didn’t do it in this instance because I wanted to see how she’d do and she was incredible.

I was impressed, and so I added more blocks, shapes and colours and she “passed” with flying colours.
I didn’t think she’d be able to do this and she schooled me! This was like the easiest thing in the world for her and I was hesitant to even try it. Exposure, exposure, exposure. And just like with everything, get excited about their successes! Be impressed! Studies show kiddos who feel like they’ve made their parents “proud” or knew something their “parents didn’t know” encourages them to continue learning.

A personal anecdote, my husband and I both had the issue of schools or adults teaching down or not being proud of our successes and we both just lost the love of learning and gave up with trying to do well. I’m sure plenty of other parents have similar stories. “No one cared enough, so why bother?”
Let’s not set our kiddos up for the same story. Let’s be excited and proud and care! Even if you think it’s the silliest, most mundane, “okay and?” thing in the world, act as if it’s your 2 year old telling you how the universe works! Be impressed!

And to show, again, that not everything is perfect, our pattern making this week wasn’t super successful and that’s okay. We did an ABABA pattern, it wasn’t perfect, so I offered a suggestion of how to fix it, we fixed it and she decided she wanted to build with them. I let her.

You guys, the rest of the week was smooth sailing! I have to credit that to, just going with the flow. Sure colour an off topic dinosaur red. Sure, colour everything brown.
And the rest just fell into place. She did have papa help her do some school, and it was a compromise to be honest.
She wanted to play with him, my husband is a very…non neurotypical human bean, and I love him dearly, but he’s not a “play” individual. He’s a “does it have a purpose? Let’s do it.” With kids, everything has a purpose, they learn through play and imagination, and he does understand that, but it doesn’t mean that it’s no less Earth shatteringly boring to him. Since she doesn’t get to see him much during the week, I always encourage them to hang out and play. She loves her papa and just wants to do everything with him!
So, instead of making him miserable and making her upset, I saw cues from both of them for their needs (isn’t it cool how moms notice things? We seem to “read the room” better than dad’s do πŸ˜‰ ). I knew he didn’t want to play with her “jungle” and I knew she desperately wanted to spend time with him.

“Hey, what if you and papa do school instead?”
This fills her “I want to spend time with papa” cup, but also doesn’t empty his “this has no purpose” cup.
And so he did school with her! They did Goddess matching, gluing “I voted” circles to a suffragette, and we even showed him how to do a ten frame!

Both cups were filled, school work was done, and I got to do some work. Everyone was happy!

Which left myself and Sprout to finish off the rest of the lessons. Making purple with paint (one thing I knew Papa wouldn’t do because he, just like Sprout, do not like messes or being dirty), counting to 15 (which was actually only to 10 because I only had ten blocks (I got these chalk blocks from Target’s dollar section), and making a purple necklace. I love watching her make her necklaces. And she enjoys making them too. Papa also was able to tell her (and me) a little history of “purple.” There apparently is, or was, something called “Born in the Purple.” This is why when Sprout is older papa will be teaching history to her…and me.

It was totally unintentional that my nails would match the purple, but it was a happy accident!

What books did you all read to your Sprouts this week? Our books didn’t get here in time, but the book we did have and were able to read I got at Target called Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal. Its a beautiful book about a girl being herself and that she’s perfect the way she is, no matter what she wears, how she feels etc. They also have one called Dear Boy. I haven’t read that one so I’m not sure what’s in it, though I’d assume similar things!

Happy Learning Academy family!

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We’d love to see what you’ve done and would love to share your kiddos work!


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