I mentioned in a previous post that we are still struggling to organize our home / work / learning time a little better here…
As with other things in life, I have been leaning toward what is working, instead of deciding what works and aiming for that. It makes me appear lazy though to some… so I do a bit of hustling as a front or come up with a spiel just to quash any uneasiness others may have… the people pleaser in me…
The Man has faith, I think ;), in my abilities to coordinate The Boys learning experiences. My sister also accepts that I want the best for The Boy and that I am still finding out what that means. The both have some questions but generally leave me to it 🙂
But for others; my parents, former co-workers, friends, and so on… honestly, the fact that we are homeschooling this year hasn’t even been a topic for discussion for most of these groups. They have probably just assumed that The Boy is back in his private school… I’ve been out of touch with so many friends since The Baby – but that’s a whole ‘nother issue – they ask more general questions –Hows the family? Hows the house? Are you sleeping, yet? -when I talk to them now since it has been so long.
We have no curriculum. He takes no regular classes. We don’t do workbooks.
It is proving to be a difficult concept for most people who were traditionally schooled.
We don’t really unschool (yet? lol )… in fact, I try to avoid saying we do any variation of it so to avoid looking like a poser. We’re in this middle ground right now; a difficult style to explain to folks on either end of the spectrum. I don’t even know if it IS our style – a few more eyebrows raised – it just so happens to be what we are doing at this time. We get up, at no specified time (though bedtime is generally routine which translates into a general time of alertness in the morning), The Boy completes a few self-responsibilities (washing up, brushing, dressing), breakfast is had and then the general plan is to pick a book in the morning to squeeze in sometime during the day before bed, and we take the day as it comes… We have a few activities that are routine throughout the week (meet-ups / park days / trips to library / etc) but they are optional still and may or may not happen. This, of course, works much better for us with The Baby in tow. Who knows what the plan would be if we didn’t have to accommodate for feedings / changings / naptimes … but we do… and next year it’ll be a different game plan entirely I’m sure.
What is working right now
– Getting The Boy excited(?) about keeping track of responsibilities and planning – we created this weekday planner and charted out the months planned activities thus far.
– Journal-ing what we have done everyday and being consciously thankful for those things – The Boy knows this as ‘pick 5 things [you are thankful for]’ – usually a dinner or bedtime activity.
– Reading at least one book a day; The Boy has also picked Monday morning as the time frame for ‘reviewing’ his favorite book read by writing out information such as title / year of publication / things he liked / etc.
– We have a weekly Playground meet-up, Games Day meet-up and Sports Day meet-up as well as a planned hike (weather permitting) to Trader Joes for ‘Kids Corner’ every week
– The Boy picked Wednesdays for a trip to the Library. This week he will finally be getting his own library card – Super Exciting
– We typically meet with a friend of mine for an outing, usually a hike, during the week when we are all available.
– Math – the key is keeping it happy and enjoyable for all of us – right now consists of us alternating creating problems for one another that we solve on our own and then together. The Boy thoroughly enjoys penning out looooooooong equations for Mommy to solve with at least that many O’s. We practice some in our heads, some written, use the TI-83 a bit, and we have also developed this cool chart that has proven to be quite fun. We also have been baking a bit more together and are discussing fractions / measurements.
– The Boy has also taken a (free / intro) Yoga class, been to a Wildlife reserve, enjoyed an Indonesian Festival and so much more.
A lot of what we do are things I previously would have tried to squeeze into our busy schedules anyway. But now we have more time to reflect and discuss. Its no longer a whirlwind of activities. We don’t have to ‘review’ what we just learned at one activity (in the car, mommy fighting traffic nodding ‘ uh-huh’) while on the way to activity number two.
We are still de-schooling but I am looking forward to it all 🙂