Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 32-34: Fun In The Kitchen, Nutrition, and Thanksgiving

Whew! I am 3 weeks behind! Forgive me. I am going through a tough time. 

I am going to be honest. Due to some personal issues I have recently been dealing with, and the fact that I have been keeping my little brother way more often, which is going to stop soon, Samantha has not been learning as much and we do not spend as much time on lessons. But at the beginning of the year I am hoping to pick the pieces back up and start over-spend more time planning her lessons and more time on the lesson itself. I also plan to add the Bible stories back in and do a lesson once a week with numbers. (I don't feel like we are spending enough time on numbers. It is so easy to integrate reading into things because we can just read a book during calendar time or something.) 

Also, a side thought I have been plagued with is that Samantha keeps talking about school school school. She just wants to be where all her friends are, but she doesn't understand why I want to keep her home for school. Obviously she doesn't understand what a curriculum is or why I feel that the schools in this area are not teaching children-mainly middle and high schools. I don't know much about elementary anymore, but I have heard that they are pressuring younger kids too hard with testing testing testing, and that is not fair to the kids. I don't know what to do. I want to homeschool her. But I want her to love to learn, and her environment has a lot to do with that. I have several options...1. Make her do homeschool and make it as fun as possible and just hope to God she decides she likes it. 2. Put her in a co-op, which I would do, but I can only find one around here, and I don't really like the curriculum they use...3. Let her go to elementary school and give her the option to pull out around middle school to do online school or some other alternative. But I am afraid she will be bored to tears in Kindergarten. She knows how to read and she is working on writing, and that is what one of her friends, who is in Kindergarten, is working on! Eh...so complicated...I need to figure it out. She will be 4 next year, and if we are going to opt for homeschool, we need to figure it out. If not, then we don't have to worry about anything until she is 6-because of how her birthday falls. Think of how much she will learn in the next 3 years. Do you really think she is going to enjoy Kindergarten? Ugh...Co-Op is actually sounding really good right now...Sorry for the rambling...trying to reason with myself. 

Fun In The Kitchen: 

Monday: We read the "Milk and Cookies" book from her Kindermusik set. We also listened to her Milk and Cookies CD. (We did the lesson in the kitchen.) 

Tuesday: We started out looking around in the kitchen for various kitchen tools. We picked things like measuring cups, a can opener, a pizza cutter, potato peeler, and cheese grater. Then I set them all out and let them take turns picking one up and checking it out while I explained to them what it was called and what it was used for. 

Wednesday: We attended story time at the library, which is now a weekly thing. (It was a food theme, for Thanksgiving coming up.) And like I said, at the beginning of the year, I wil pick the Bible stories back up. 

Thursday: We did not do any art. I could not think of or find a project. 

Friday: We tried some more new recipes, actually throughout the week we tried several. We are always trying new recipes now. This time we did stuffed bell peppers. 


I integrated two weeks because the week of Thanksgiving will be extremely busy. 

Monday: We did not read a book. I am not sure why. But we did listen to the song, "Peel the Banana" sung by Dr. Jean, our favorite! 

We also read a book about Thanksgiving, but to be honest, we checked it out fromt he library and I do not remember the name. It was cute though. And I printed out a poem off DTLK called "Five Little Turkeys." They got to paint the turkey at the bottom of the print off. 

Tuesday: We did a "food pyramid." We went "grocery shopping" in the cabinets and I made sure they got at least one of each food group, and built a flat pyramid, based off the old model. I am not sure what is up with the old pyramid! 

Wednesday: We missed story time this week because Samantha had a Parents As Teachers meeting that I scheduled before we started going to story time. However, the meeting went well. We played bored games and talked about the importance of them and what they learn while playing certain types of games. 

Thursday: We colored pages with the new pyramid on them. I also had them talk about different foods that they liked to eat and what food group those foods belong in. 

We also did our annual Handprint Turkeys. 

Friday: We had a healthy snack. We ate fruit, cheese, and juice. The fruit was organic and the milk was Whole Milk. We do not drink 2%. 

And then for the cooking portion of Thanksgiving, obviously she will be assisting me in making the dinner on Thursday. 

Next week is Reading. We are going to dive a little deeper into reading and see what needs to be worked on and what I can do to help her. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 31: Food

This week went well. We added a few more things to "Rug Time." These were added per Samantha's request. We are practicing writing her name I used a website awhile back where you type in their name or whatever word you want them to practice and it will print it out on that lined paper that kids use to learn to write. Anyway, I put that in a plastic page protector so she can use a dry erase marker and try over and over. She is doing really well at it. 

I also re-organized her school closet. She has so much school stuff it is hard to keep neat. She has her calendar, art supplies, Judy Clock things, counting bears, tangrams, lacing cards, homemade games, her parachute and bean bags, etc. It looks amazing now though. I took a trip to the Dollar Tree and bought a bunch of plastic bins and school supplies and even posters. (There were 2 posters in each pack for $1.00.) They had all kids of posters. I grabbed posters that I knew would work for the next few years. I got shapes and colors, which she already knows, but it is nice to have for the word recognition. Alphabet and numbers. Just as reminders. Days of the week. Months of the year, which we are working on. And then short and long vowel sounds. Which we will get to, but not quite yet. We are struggling with the next step in reading still, so I am taking it one day at a time. She is still young. No reason to push her. Point is that she is recognizing that letters make words and words represent things. She still sounds them out and she can recognize words like on the EXIT signs and STOP signs, but she is nowhere near fluent with her reading a book or something.

Anyway, our topics for the whole month will be "Food" related, in celebration of the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving. 

Monday: We read the book "Pancakes for Breakfast," a book they introduced to us in Kindermusik. 

Tuesday: We went through her plastic foods and sorted them out by type. Fruit, Vegetable, Dairy. Etc. 

Wednesday: Still waiting for the church to catch up. I am about to just move forward.

Thursday: Samantha and Brennon made fruit and vegetable baskets. I cut them out. They colored them and glued them. Samantha did vegetables. He did fruits. 

Friday: We tried a new recipe for dinner. A new type of lasagna. YUM, I must say. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Week 29: My Body and Week 30: Halloween

Week 29's lessons were about the Body. 

Monday: We read the rest of her anatomy book. She really enjoyed it. She has always been interested in Anatomy. (I took Anatomy class when she was a little Baby and I would read my stuff to her and teach her the stuff. I ended up teaching her all her bones, and she still knows them!)

Tuesday: We watched the movie Curious Buddies: Let's Move because it got her moving and dancing and jumping and everything. 

Wednesday: Still waiting for the church to catch up. 

Thursday: We were supposed to trace her body and color it and everything, but I did not get to get any of that butcher paper. :/ 

Friday: No cooking project. (Apparently we were slacking off this week.)

Week 30 was Halloween-another fun week. I Love the holiday and season lessons. 

Monday: We read a book from the library, and I can't remember what it is called because we already returned it. Jessie picked it out. It was a Level One reader about a truck on being scared on Halloween. 

The rest of her week was getting ready for and incorporated in her "Halloween Party" with my little brother where we listed to Halloween music, played games, painted pumpkins, and baked cookies. I also let them watch the movie Toy Story because they were both Toy Story characters, and we ditched Netflix, so we couldn't watch a Halloween show on it. And On Demand didn't have anything good for kids really. (Anything that they like or anything they hadn't already seen.) 

(We were supposed to do foot print ghosts and fist pumpkins, but I forgot, so even though it is after Halloween, we may do them today.)