I don’t talk a lot about what my kiddos are doing for school or learning here. It certainly doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. Boy is it happening. Right now as I type the two girls are out in their tee-pee they made out of branches, plastic, blankets and twine. Very rough and simple but fun for them and they like it. They are cooking their own home made naan over a fire they started on their own. They brought me a taste of the bread. It is very good. Yesterday they did almost the same thing only they made tea and bread on a stick.
Of course earlier today we were driving into town to drop off one of my daughters to the Jr. High for her 45 minute strings class. My other daughter and I went for a walk and then sat in the car listening to an audio CD. I also read books to her but this is what she wanted to do and I am happy to sit, listen, and knit!
We do a variety of things. I read a book out loud to the both of them every day. I don’t have to make a big deal about ‘discussing’ the story because it happens all on its own. All my kids have always asked questions and voiced their opinion about what they think about without any prompting. Now getting them to write it down? That is a whole other subject. No pun intended! Writing is not a top priority for kids, at least not mine. Of course they know how to write and they do write things. They write stories, newspapers, cookbooks, and letters. They also type. They have blogs and they recently learned to do Google slides. They write when they want to and about what they want. So I don’t complain.
We don’t have a ‘school’ day. We do have a routine of sorts. I wouldn’t be able to function without one. In the afternoon we set aside two to three hours of time that we do things together. Some days that is a field trip. Sometimes it is working on a subject that they have picked to learn about. We are working in the Geography coloring books and learning about the continents and countries. They also wanted to learn about biology spurred by the introduction of the microscope last year. I found a really nice Biology curriculum that didn’t break the bank and is full of lots of hands on activities. We have all been having fun with that. Sometimes we go for a walk in the woods together. Sometimes we watch a movie! We don’t usually do the same thing each day. Variety is a good thing when you are learning, I think.
Freedom is another important thing. I don’t insist on much. I ask them what they want to learn. Luckily they always have such good ideas. Sometimes what they pick works out great and there is interest and fun and we learn a lot. Sometimes things they pick sounded fun but ended up not being what they thought. It is okay to stop doing something. Not everything works out. They know there isn’t a whole lot I insist on. Mostly what they do are things they have thought of or things I have suggested and they also thought it sounded neat.
They both do math. One prefers doing problems out of a book with help from me when needed. The other likes to use a CD math course called Teaching Textbooks. It gives one problem at a time and is great at teaching and explaining. They do math almost every day. Math (and Reading) things I have always insisted on. Luckily I didn’t have to ‘teach’ my kids to read. It kinda just happened because they wanted to learn it so badly. Knowing how to read and do arithmetic will help with learning everything else. And much of it can be learned independently.
When the kids were younger we did a lot more reading together. We did a lot of crafts and art. They are a older now and the things we learn together are more challenging. We play games, do experiments, go on trips. It is different. So much easier than when they were little. Some of the things I miss, like cuddling on the couch after stories or cooking together. Those things happen, but not as often. They are much more independent. Just recently I was sewing and they both joined me downstairs and needle felted the night away. We weren’t doing a ‘project’ together but we were ‘together’. It was nice.
So that is a little bit about our journey in education. Life really. How about you? How do you learn with your family?