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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

week 33 of homeschooling - playing, packing, unschooling

monday josh went to a homeschooling buddy's house and they played all day long, because they can! as he was leaving, josh promised he'd work on his fine and gross motor skills. he cracks me up. all three are getting in as much friend-time as possible before we leave.
we're packing up the RV this week, so much time will be spent on learning to follow directions and help mom and dad carry stuff!
fyi, writing is always better outside on the warm driveway, with a friend close by.
lately we've been reading, researching, and discussing unschooling, which is very poorly named. it's more like untraditionally schooling, because there *is* schooling. so it's a crazy name that causes some people to have negative opinions (which i of course will simply ignore because my kids are not their kids, so who cares?). and since they're a year ahead in most things, it really wouldn't hurt to try anyway.
as we've shared some with the kids and are "assigning" less, we're finding them doing more on their own. josh is very self-motivated and loves to learn. he loves the military and history channels, no cartoons for him. when he left monday, matt and lizzy actually ran off to measure the circumference of every tree in the yard (there are a lot!) to find the oldest. they learned about that on a cereal box. now that i'm not officially teaching from the little house curriculum, they're begging me to read chapter after chapter (and still learning the history, bible, character, science, etc as we go - without realizing it). matt's begging to continue his math workbook because he loves it (i think he wants to catch josh and lizzy, and i think he could!). lizzy keeps doing wonderful art projects just for fun. today she recreated the phoenix landing on mars after watching a documentary. matt helped allen (truly helped!) fix the belt on the riding mower. that opportunity (which matt LOVED) developed from this conversation...
as we try to allow them to pursue their strengths, matt's is pretty much breaking things.
allen: matt, why do you break things?
matt: i like seeing what's inside and how it goes back together.
allen: how about i help you take things apart?
matt: yay!
maybe he'll be an engineer. hopefully he'll stop breaking things.
if you've met our kids, you know. they are crazy passionate, holy cow are they passionate! we just hope they'll use their passion for good and not evil. :) i guess they get it honestly. allen's an adrenaline junkie who's passionate about whatever the next adventure is. well, i guess we are all traveling the country in an RV, so maybe i'm a bit passionate myself. :)

other topics they've chosen and studied so far this week: aerodynamics and trajectory (yes on the trampoline and yes that is scary), shark attacks, and dog breeds. josh tried to pull off "seeing the effects of the sun on my skin as i play outside and get tan" to which i told him to find out and tell me why the skin's color changes. he grumbled but was actually intrigued. (matt guessed it was like how a toaster toasts bread). had i said sit down for health class and i'll tell you about melanin pigment, they would have been bored. they might memorize it for a test even, but it would mean little (if anything later on). now they're interested and want to understand how it works. love it!
i can't wait to get on the road so they can start learning about the country, but there are plenty of things to discover right here too. and it's cool to wonder what they'll learn about tomorrow!

2 comments:

That Crazy Family said...

I LOVE this!!! We just stopped "homeschooling" and I am in the process of working on my head and heart since my hubby and I really feel unschooling is what we want to do! No more textbooks!!! No more fighting with my little one to get him to learn to read, it will all come in time! This post is very encouraging.. I am loving your blog by the way!!

Show Us The World said...

I didn't realize you were new in transitioning to life learning (otherwise known as unschooling) vs school at home. Don't let the unschoolers hear you say there is still "schooling" or they'll flood your blog with corrections on that one. ;p There is still "learning" is how we tend to say it...lots and lots and lots of learning. I see you are already finding your own groove and enjoying all of the learning that is going on. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?