One of our goals this year for Rowan in terms of his academics is to start introducing the concept of chemistry and chemical reactions. When teaching Rowan a new concept we always use a very specific technique.
To begin with we simply introduce the concept to him without really expecting anything back. We always aim to do this whilst Rowan is doing something he enjoys. For example riding a horse or bouncing on the trampoline.
Any of you who have ever been to a Horse Boy Method training will have seen us demonstrate this with the abstract notion of fractions. Rupert introduced Rowan to the concept of fractions whilst he was riding in a round pen. Rupert initially just talked in terms of riding different fractions of the round pen e.g. 'let's ride half the way around the round pen, now let's ride the other half.' Within a few sessions Rowan was asking to ride different fractions of the round pen at different speeds at a few weeks later this concept had translated to paper. Rowan is now able to add, subtract and compare fractions with ease.
We also try to relate the topic we are studying to Rowan's real passion in life...animals.
For example when learning history we always focus on what humans were doing with animals during a particular time period - Roman circuses, Greek mythological creatures, Early zoos etc. Another good example was the time Rowan learned about US President's by researching what pets they had. He was very happy to learn that John Quincy Adams had an alligator and Martin Van Buren had two tiger cubs.
Finally we always try to include fun, interactive activities relating to the topic at hand that we can do together to keep him interested. It is much easier for Rowan to learn when his body is active and occupied.
Examples include making cardboard cave and filling it with rubber cave dwelling animals or creating a fossil treasure trail.
Check out the following video of Rowan being introduced to the concept of chemical reactions by exploding a soda bottle whilst bouncing on the trampoline.