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Tag Archives: Unschooling

Spring Fever

I’m still trying to figure the direction in which this blog is moving. I just can’t bring myself to do weekly round up-type posts. Although I enjoy reading them at other blogs, I find them boring to write. I already do something similar for my records, albeit in a very abbreviated format, and cannot get myself to do another, more detailed version here. I prefer to have something interesting and stimulating to write about; witty if I can manage it. But lately our homeschooling just isn’t providing adequate material for posts. We have a routine, and to be honest our homeschooling is a bit like an old married couple: comfortable, unexciting (usually), and a little dull. You might even say we’re in a little bit of a rut.

We’re really enjoying spelling (cause it’s new) and science, but everything else is just a little stale. Even history isn’t thrilling us anymore. Esa’s disappointed with the colouring pages in the Story of the World Volume 2 activity book, and I have to agree that they’re not that great. (The ones in activity book 3 are even worse; the drawing is terrible.) Math is going well, but we’re not doing much supplementing with stories or activities. We’ve not done art or poetry in weeks. He really dislikes Writing with Ease, in particular dictation. I think it’s a fantastic curriculum, but it can be a little dull. Okay, very dull. He enjoys the narration, and the reading selections have provided us with introductions to books that we otherwise might not have discovered, which is great. Handwriting is a boring but necessary evil. We’ll be starting cursive writing soon, which will liven things up a bit.

I think the real problem is that we’re feeling a little burnt out. If I made a little more effort to supplement, or take him on educational visit somewhere, we might be able to inject some life into our homeschool. But I just don’t have the “umph” for it right now. Spring is here, the garden is blooming, we’re planning to go to the US in a few days, and my mind is just elsewhere. Maybe what we need is to just unschool for a while. Lots of read alouds (also lacking right now), lots of time in the garden (if only it would stop RAINING!), read about herbs using A Kid’s Herb Book, maybe do some nature journaling, and just have an overall relaxed approach for now.

In other news, I have started yet another blog. 🙂 My interest in veganism is providing me with a lot of material to write about, and since I don’t want to bore my readers, who mainly come here to read about homeschooling, I thought a separate blog was a good idea. If you’re interested, here’s the link: http://spillinthebeans.wordpress.com/

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Are We There Yet?

We’ve been having a lot of 4-day weeks recently, and for some reason it seems to be working now.  And then I had one of those light-bulb moments. I was doing it again…putting unnecessary restrictions on our schedule . Why do I do that to myself? Why can’t we just do what works…a 4-day week here, a 5-day week there…why do we need to be locked in to one way or another…after all, this isn’t a school for goodness’ sake…

Funny how often I do that. Fortunately, I’ve come to my senses (regarding this at least.)

We’ve sort of gone back to Singapore. Since it’s a mastery curriculum, we can skip around a bit. We covered the unit on telling time to the hour and half hour, we’re going to a unit on place value, then we’ll do the unit on fractions. We’re peppering this with math stories, games, and activities.  I’m not sure when we’ll go back to addition and subtraction, not to mention multiplication and division, but we will get to it when he’s ready. In the meantime, we’re enjoying math again.

I think we’re experiencing end-of-year blahs. We’re eager to finish up our first grade materials and have a little break before diving into second grade. Esa’s quite excited about SOTW volume 2; he keeps asking me if Japan, Britain, and many other countries will be covered in the next level. We’ve also got it on CD and he’s eager to get that out.

Our reading lessons leave me smiling. He’s nearing the end of phonics instruction and he’s needing help with fewer and fewer words; he’s nearly an independent reader now. His comprehension is excellent and his reading often leads to discussion.

I’ve been a little at a loss as to what to write about. Things are flowing, we’re busy with everyday things that just aren’t noteworthy. I’m also less interested in researching curriculum and more interested in just getting on with things. I’m not buying as many supplementary materials and our studies haven’t suffered in the least. We’re making do with what we have and what the library can provide and we’re happy with that (and saving money).

We’ve also become much more relaxed. We’re not so academically driven these days. And since lightening up, Esa’s having more of a chance to indulge his academic interests. He actually asked to do handwriting the other day. I raised an eyebrow and casually swept my hand across his forehead whilst mumbling something about him not feeling well.

We’re gardening, playing, reading, watching, talking, painting, going, doing, laughing, listening…

We’re living life as fully as we can.

 

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