Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Experience in Student Interest Led Learning or Why I Let the Kid Eat Donuts EVERY Day this Week

Marie's Doughnuts in East Sac
I try to honor the entrepenuer in my kiddo.  Last week he announced he wants to own a donut shop.

I was desperate. We have somehow gotten into the battle of him not wanting to do his work and me threatening to end his life if he doesn't get it done. NOT why I started homeschooling. "Fine, you want donuts, I will give you donuts."

We started the week of work on Saturday at Donut Madness. I was eager to start this magical journey....he refused to get off of his ipad to engage. Entered Dad's lecture on how lucky he is that Mom is willing to take tons of time to create  a whole week of lessons around something he wanted to do. I sat in the car upset and secretly plotted to drop him off at the local elementary school on Monday.

Reason won out and I left my week of Donut Exploration  intact. The plan?

Throughout the week learn about donuts and the donut business from several sources PLUS introduce him to lots of academic and business vocabulary. This is in addition to his enrichment workshops at PACT , daily spelling, math flashcards, grammar work, and his daily online math class.

We are going to

  • read Can Money Be Made in the Doughnut Business
  • watch The History of Doughnuts
  • read The History of Doughnuts and answer the accompanying questions
  • use this chart to organize our sensory details about the doughnuts that we taste.
  • use Journeys Writer's Notebook to explore the parts of descriptive paragraphs and practice writing our own. 
  • read recipes of doughnuts
  • make grocery lists
  • bake doughnuts
  • research different doughnuts shops, read Yelp reviews, and navigate to a doughnut shop every day.
  • visit a different doughnut shop every day and make observations about taste, price, recipes, flavors, ect. After each visit, we record Robert's first reactions and analysis.
Yes, I said every day. Don't worry! He doesn't eat every doughnut that we buy. We purchase 1-2 (or four) and he takes a few bites. This is after a very nutritious breakfast of protein. I have to admit, I have taken a bite or two or three....but it always makes me sick. Robert has informed me that  it is because," You eat too many vegetables."

So far we have discussed overhead, why some older shops may have lower overhead than new shops, what a franchise is, types of doughnuts, sensory details, how Oak Park (where we live) became separated from the rest of Sacramento due to Highway 50 being built and the impact of that on the community, the relationship between doughnuts and war, and why some stores either do not allow people to use credit cards, charge people to use them or have minimum purchases.

He can also now navigate from our house to Broadway Doughnuts without the use of GPS. Not sure I should be bragging about that.

So, yeah. Lots of talking and videoing and eating. The verdict is still out on if this experience will reduce the complaining or result in something long term. For now, he is still planning on making and selling doughnuts. He has suggested selling them out front with lemonade. But this definately feels more like what I intended to do from the beginning. 


  1. I love this! I especially love that you have the same conversations, lectures, and secret plotting sessions as I do!