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

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pen Pal

Just a few reasons this "school year" is shaping up to be a great year....

Sam is exploding with her reading abilities. She is reading signs, books, any kind of text. All the time! Words I didn't even know she knew! After we took a little break from reading in December, we never went back. I couldn't force her to read books she didn't like and possibly make her hate reading. I decided to let her read on her time, and she did. We dabbled in reading. Read some play scripts and cookbooks. Wrote in a journal. Sounded out random words we saw. And now...it us just all coming to her.
Speaking of reading, we are almost done with Trumpet if the Swan. Then on to Wizard of Oz, or more Little House. Her choice.

She is getting fast at her subtraction facts. She has already mastered her single digit addition. She didn't like the change from addition to subtraction at first. It confused her. But she has really improved. I recently found out that she is an auditory learner, so together we decided it would be best for me to shout out the math facts in the car or while we are cooking dinner. That way she can HEAR them rather than see them on the computer games. I have seen a real improvement in her attitude toward subtraction since we started doing this.

She is a Mad Scientist! We do experiments every day. From Ocean experiments to making our own Bouncy Balls. She is making educated guesses and explaining why or why not something worked. It's amazing the concepts children are able to understand.
Sam has also been using her professional paints to paint in her Nature Journal. I am hoping this Spring will bring some fresh new ideas.

Living books have been a real joy to dive into and learn from too! "The Trumpet of the Swan"  has so much Science and Geography! We have taken several trips to McKays lately and bought some Classic Literature, New Berry Medal Winners, Poetry by Whitman, Frost, Poe, and Dickenson. We even got some reference books. Sam loves Eye Witness Books about anything and everything: Oceans, Horses, Electricity, Weather.
She also got some comics, her newest interest.
She is improving on Geography too. She knows all her Oceans, Continents, and States by shape and location. What a year it has been!

Aside from "academics," gymnastics is going well. They are learning so many new things! She mastered a handstand on the first day! Her teacher says she has great form! She isn't even afraid of the stall bars anymore. She loves them now! I have seen her pike ups and tuck ups on those things! You have to have serious ab control to do those!

Here are some things we are looking forward to the next month or so:

Valentine Party February 14th: As mentioned before, Coolest Party Ever. We will be having it at the Skating Rink. Most of her CHEA friends will be there. Over 100 people have signed up. They will be doing a Valentines swap games, food, and skating.

Pen Pal: Sam has really improved on her reading, spelling, and writing, as I stated before. I thought having a pen pal might encourage that and make it fun! So I got online and found her a pen pal.
The woman who replied to my post has a 5 year old girl. They are a Christian family. And her daughter has a lot of the same interests as Sam, camping, swimming, music, dancing, art. Of course they also have some differences. Which is good too.
This with be a great learning experience for her. She will read, write, spell, learn format. And hear about another state. They can write letters, draw pictures, make each other small items. And I definitely want to do the "13 Ounces or Less"activities around the holidays. The best part is she will gain a friend!
An added bonus is I now have an email pal. Another homeschool Mom to talk to when we struggle. Send pictures and updates to. And even give advice to myself when they struggle.

Geography Fair March: Slow going. We are taking our time, but having fun studying the globe, drawing on the tri board, conducting experiments, and looking for ideas for our big project.

I think the rest of today we are going to write her pen pal, finish some Valentines, play Math Mat, read "Trumpet of the Swan," and dump out her giant basket of books to see what we will discover!

Some other things we have done lately: Valentines and Valentine Box-She made a turtle with hearts on its shell. Her idea. She loves the ocean. We have done Ocean experiments. Made Ooze. Had a Fizz Paint Bath. Played in the snow. Made Snow Cream.  Baked cookies and made noodles and tortillas from scratch. She wrote a super cute comic for my little brother. Complete with a title pages, cartoon boxes, and talking bubbles. We got a new chicken and she cares for it daily, along with her other chores. And so much more!

I am going to do another post-pictures only. The Blogger app keeps freezing when I load pictures on posts and then I lose everything. Big pain.

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