Lesson Plan Hijack – for all the Right Reasons


Normally, the boys get to sleep in on weekends. But today, we are meeting family for breakfast out at Patty’s Diner in Gold Hill, for the best Chicken Fried Steaks in the world. It is important to get there early to get a table.

As Ben was still groggy, and just barely waking up, he said, “Hey Mom, have you ever wondered who invented writing? I mean, I can imagine it. Someone is talking and another guy is thinking to himself, ‘If I could just write this all down so I could remember it, that would be awesome,’ and he starts making random scratches on a piece of paper, and then figures out how to remember what he just heard.”

Guess what we will be delving into this week? I think Ben will get a huge kick out of hieroglyphics anyway. They are an art form as well as the beginnings of recorded language. I believe that was the beginning. I’m not exactly sure. But I’m going to find out right along with him. That’s another thing I love about this. There were things I missed in school, because I was daydreaming about the things I really wanted to explore. If I can stay alert to his level of interest, we can learn all sorts of things together, and feed on each other’s enthusiasm.

I love this about Home School, because we can jump on something at the moment of interest and curiosity. We don’t have to stick so strictly to a lesson plan that we say, “Well, you’ll be learning about that in three years. Hold that thought.”

photo from here

5 thoughts on “Lesson Plan Hijack – for all the Right Reasons

  1. And there’s also the whole exciting story of how they were deciphered, and the discovery of the Rosetta Stone.

    It’s also an opportunity to talk about problem-solving: faced with cryptic writing, where should you begin? One nice trick is to count the signs — alphabets have the smallest number (typically less than 40); syllabic systems like Japanese hiragana have more (up to 100 or so); and hieroglyphs have the most.

    And it leads to discussions on other forms of writing, both those that have been deciphered (e.g. Sumerian cuneiform, Hittite cuneiform, Mayan,and Linear B) and those which are still a mystery (e.g. Linear A).

    I think Sumerian cuneiform is just as old as Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the two systems were probably invented separately. In fact, writing seems to have been invented several different times, on different continents. The various alphabets of the world, however, all seem to come from the Phoenicians.

    1. There is a philosophy about good ideas happening simultaneously in various parts of the world independently of each other…. the same sort of thing happened with the invention or discovery of how to create film and moving pictures.

      This isn’t something we were supposed to study in depth this year, and you are so right – there are endless ways to look at it.

      I think right now, we are both doing a bit of the Shiny Object Distraction thing. But, it’s good. It’s good to be excited to learn, and to jump down bunny trails of learning as we get an idea – just because learning about something new is so fun.

      I would love to stick with some sort of plan – but that may not be how we do this.

  2. We definitely love homeschool for the same reasons. Having worked as a classroom teacher with a rigid curriculum and lesson sequence, it is a true pleasure to have the freedom to follow my children’s interests 🙂

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