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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Last Year

It's my birthday! And I'm looking back on this last year, just like I do on her birthday. And Wow. It's March 2014. I can't believe it was 8 months ago when we began a whole new style of life. Of course we are still pretty unstructured. (It has been amazing seeing where the day takes us! One morning, totally unexpectedly, it took us to the bank to open an account for Sam, talk about money, check registers, and change. Then to paint pottery pieces for family (with her allowance money), then lunch with Daddy and the playground. Talk about eventful! We didn't even plan to leave the house that day!) Anyway, since August though we have met new people, gone new places, joined new groups, and learned so many new things in new ways! She is growing up fast. One day she is clinging to me. The next (literally) she is running around the playground, sliding down the poles, swinging herself, and doing the monkey bars!

We have our own routine that works right now. Our "active week" is Tuesday-Saturday. Daddy is off Sunday/Monday, so we still learn, but differently.

Tuesday: Volunteer at Pregnancy Center/Gym

Wednesday: Stay Home

Thursday: Gymnastics

Friday: Library Day

Saturday: Stay Home

Monthly we have a CHEA Playdate usially on Friday, a CHEA Fieldtrip or Party, CHEA Nature Group on Wednesday, Lego Club on Thursday, and Volunteer at the local Farm on Friday.

Sam is immersed in several different things right now:

She is working on a lemonade stand. She has made signs, flyers, crafts to sell, product and price lists, things to buy, learned how to profit, learned more about money value and making change....The list goes on.

Her newest interest is piano. Sam has had an undying love for classical music since I can remember. As a toddler, it was all I could find to get her to nap. Still is! When she is tired, she turns on her classical music and falls right to sleep. The result? Sam has memorized dozens of pieces and can recognize hundreds. She loves the composers, the sheet music, the piano, the everything. And would give anything to be able to play it. My 5-1/2 year old wants to play classical music-oh and not to mention learn about the government? I didn't believe those who told me unschool was THIS amazing!

A friend and I are planning to co-op. She would teach piano. And I would do Charlotte Mason style nature study. It would benefit Sam to have someone else teach her and be in a setting like that with friends.

Those are her two main interests-aside from art, writing comic books, that sort of thing...We are also reading Little House still, dabbling in how the government is supposed to function, always practicing gym, and doing little side experiments like making ooze, slime, playing with our new marble roller coaster, or like yesterday, we had a "Recycling Day." Again, that is just where the day lead us. It was a cold day, so we got out Sam's new Recycling Kit and learned how paper is recycled. We did that, then watched videos on it, talked and read about it. Before we knew it, it was time for gym, so we took our Recycling to the Recycling Center before class. Sam found out the WHY and HOW of recycling, something I just assumed she knew about, but didn't. I hope recycling is something that sticks with her through her adult years because she believes in it, not because "Mama said so."

Coming up we have FIELD DAY WITH CHEA!!! Sam is going to love having her own field day. She loved Brennon's last year. Soon after that is Homeschool Day at Lake Winnie. We also have Sam's Homeshow, her first volunteer trip to the farm, first Lego Club meeting...

Seems like yesterday we attended her first Not Back to School picnic. Here we are almost a year later, still learning. Still growing. Still having fun. I am thankful to God for my last year that he has given me to be a Mom. To be a Wife. A teacher. A counselor. And a friend. Life goes by too fast for us to waste it. I hope that I'm able to enjoy and take in this next year as much as the last. I know there will be good and bad, just like every year, but I just keep reminding myself that without the bad, there would be no room for growth, no place for good.

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