So, this week I took a different approach to the whole homeschooling thing. Since Monday proved to be a struggle for me (which I spoke about in last week’s post), I decided that I wanted to try out the whole child-led learning thing. I have had the books “The Unschooling Handbook”, and “Teach Your Own” on my bookshelf for over a year. While I read the handbook, I already forgot a lot of the things that I read, so I picked it back up throughout this week and re-read through a lot of it. It gave me more of push in trying to trust the girls in that they will learn when they are ready and to not push them so much. I have always believed in the philosophy of unschooling, but have a hard time applying it to my life and my children’s lives. I personally love lists and crossing things off once they are completed, so naturally I take that approach with schooling. However, unschooling is totally opposite of that. That’s okay, but I need to ease into it to really begin to trust it. I also started reading the “Teach Your Own”, more like picking it back up, and it has some great information in there too.
So, in order to ease into a more relaxed and child-led schooling experience for us, I have opened the homeschooling cabinet doors to the kids and have let them start to choose what they want to do. Some may think that this cabinet should always be open, but then all my organization would be messed up and well, I just cant have that. So, with a watchful eye, I let them pick something to do. It has worked out well so far, and I feel a lot more relaxed because of it.
The first real unschooling moment happened Tuesday morning, before I even made the decision to try it out more. The girls had their little notebooks that they draw and write in, and Hailey came up with the idea to make words out of the word “woman”. Why did she choose “woman” as her word? Well, it was a spelling word of ours from when we read Genevieve of Paris during our saints & heroes block. For some reason that word stuck with her, and she now uses it a lot. Hah! Anyways, so I just sat down at the table with them and they started to come up with words using the word woman. They both loved it and we were having a great time. I completely threw out my previously scheduled plan and let them do this activity for as long as they wanted. It was nice, and peaceful. So throughout the week we continued this activity and now they have a nice little collection of words made out of other words. I would like to continue this as long as they are still interested.
With them choosing what they want to do, I also get to choose something that I want them to do. This has been working out good too. In the end, we have been able to get more done now than before.
I am also happy to report that both of the girls know their 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s times tables. Within only a month or so they learned something that I thought would be very difficult to teach and learn. That has been my greatest accomplishment as their teacher/mother since homeschooling has started. This week we also finished our My Body projects and are proudly being hung on the wall. We made a boomerang and talked about the Aborigines and how they used the boomerang for hunting and for play. They painted the boomerang using artwork typical of the Aborigines, and watched a video of someone throwing the boomerang. It’s a pretty cool tool/toy. We also started the Story of the World book, and the girls listened well enough to answer some of the review questions. They didn’t seem to mind it at all. I’m hoping that continues.
We also got a chance to use our Bananagrams game and the tangram blocks. I have so many different things like this in the cabinet but never seem to have the time to pull them out. Now that they get to choose, we now have time to do those things. We have done more writing and spelling over the course of this week than we have done since we began homeschooling.
Anyways, I will continue this throughout next week and I will be sure to let you guys know how it’s going! Thanks for checking in again!
Here are some pictures of our week if you’d like to see…
our My Body project completed
making words from words