Friday, May 18

Unschooling our way

Have you ever wanted to spend a day at the beach, in the park, or just watching TV?
I think we all have days like that. but what if days like that could be center of your child's education?
In September I posted an article about our homeschool schedule, but since things have been so hectic around these parts lately; I have sort of dispensed with the schedule and watched what happens.
WHat happened truly was a surprise.. My children continued to learn, grow, and they actually enjoyed it. Instead of setting times and tasks (which meant fighting to keep everyone's attention), I simply put on educational videos, set out art supplies, and even some story books. I can't even tell you how shocked I was to see them all playing with the same playdough
set, listening as "big Brother" read a story, and discussing amongst themselves just exactly how it was that an egg is like the layers of the planet Earth.
I am hearing that there is a name for this; it's called unschooling? I don't know if this type of learning falls in that category, but it is working for my bunch of babies.
In my opinion, they just seem to learn better when they take an interest in what is around them. Even the times when I start a project I'm almost certain they won't care about, the cherubs are eager to help mom and they learn a skill or 2 in the process.
"How do you teach the basic academic skills then?"
After phonics and basic addition, subtraction multiplication and division facts are memorized (usually via flash cards) I don't have to. THe basics come from reading labels, signs, and even captions from the TV. *Close caption or subtitles are a huge help* Math comes from working out everyday problems, such as grocery shopping, table setting, recipe measuring, and household inventory. History comes from discussion, film, and book reading (silent or listening). Field trips such as, zoo, museum, and other places after time spent on a particular subject give the kiddos a great memory to go with the spark of interest that started it all.
Now, don't think I just let it go and let them wander free. i set out materials according to what they need to learn, and let them discover them for themselves. They just don't know that part. lol
WHile this may not be ideal for every family, it's what works for mine. And if you happen to spark an idea from it; then my job was done right today. :)
I hope this post has helped you in some way, but now I have to go feed some hungry tummies.
So until next time, as always; Take care, God bless, and Make it a great day!

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