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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Just An Update

I have been a little down lately, thinking that I am failing S. I think I just need some encouragement and reassurance, so I checked out a book on Christian Unschooling from the library. I think it will be a little less radical than other unschool literature. It had good reviews, so fingers crossed. I pick it up tomorrow.

I do believe this semester will be a good one. We have had some warm days and have been getting a lot done. I finally exited my December depression and we have stopped doing our work in the bed. I am waking S up a little earlier, but not too early because she likes to stay up late and do art. (DH walked in there at 1 this morning and she was drawing pictures. Man, I am so glad God blessed us with an artist for a daughter.) Anywho, we have just been doing the usual winter stuff lately: reading lots of books, playing board games and computer games, baking, the usual library days and volunteering, gymnastics...

And recently S started swim classes! She has been so excited about them, and at the price they were offering them-less than $4 a class-I took the deal. And I signed my little brother up too. So every Wednesday is now library day. Then we go pick my brother up from school early and head to swim. (That's educational so it counts, right? lol) He was excited too and they both ended up in the same class, level 2. They are both doing so well. But I knew my brother would. I was a little concerned about S because she is generally terrified of leaning forward in the water. It took all we had to get her to trust the life jacket and lean forward so she could practice. But once she got in class, I guess she just forgot she was afraid. There were 4 other kids there. Maybe she didn't want to look like a lunatic. She allowed the teacher to help her lean forward and kick. And she even went under water-with goggles on, but hey, I still use goggles to go under. I can tell it will definitely be worth the money and time. Classes are 45 minutes long and she will have 10 classes and we will go from there to see if she wants more or if she wants to go forward with it and learn some higher level stuff. They accomplished a lot and I was very happy. It is all S and my brother have talked about since we left swim.

Here are some things we have coming up:

*Short vacation to Nashville. Woot! Some friends invited us to stay in their parent's time share, a very fancy condo. We leave Saturday and come back on Monday. We won't be doing anything super special, but S will get to see Nashville and the Grand Opry hotel. We will meet some new people. (Her parents are going.) And we will play games and eat, walk the town.

*Her CHEA Valentine Party is coming up. S always jokes about how cool homeschoolers are because they get to have skate parties for Valentines Day. They are renting out the whole rink again. The kids will make their own valentine boxes. Samantha wants to make a coconut. (She is crazy about the beach and cities.) So we are going to blow up a balloon and do a papermache coconut. Not sure what kind of Valentines she is getting yet. And then afterward, one of her CHEA friends, has a birthday party at Superfly, so she will be double partying that day.

*Garden is looking good. We have started some seeds in paper towels. S and J have been working on raised bed measurements. I have been talking to some farmers about getting some mushroom compost. Bought some more biodegradable pots. So progress is being made and it is only January.

The calendar is so booked between the Center, Gym, and Swim, but I think it will be a good, steady schedule for us. Tuesdays and Wednesdays might be out the door as far as time at home goes, but we are still learning A LOT those days. And we will have Thursday through Saturday at home, which does not leave enough time for either of us to get bored. (Saturday, however, is usually overtaken by a "playdate" or outing of some sort, so I would say we have every other Saturday at home. Oh, and I guess we have some CHEA stuff mostly on Fridays too, but that is in the afternoons.)

S has been learning so much. Although it seems we are hardly ever home, we make use of the time we do have, and afternoons and nights is when she does a lot of learning in solitude. We have been closing out our Victorian Era lessons and we are going to begin with the Great Depression next. S is excited to get started. We got the Kit American Girl Collection in yesterday. Of course gardening and hiking is our focus again this Spring. (She showed us the other day how much she remembers from our hiking and short bouts of caving from last spring. As we explored underneath a waterfall, she pointed out the stalagtites and calcium deposits. Talked about the effects the water was having on the rocks-erosion. All without being prompted. It was encouraging to know that those things meant enough to her for her to remember them.) She has also been self studying dogs of course. We are working on getting some games and such together for her math. A little lacking there. But it is hard to find good computer games now that work on the newer platforms. And art is still the head of the learning game. She has been studying fairies. I found lots of good books about the history of fairies and folklore. She has been drawing, painting, learning new techniques for sketching, making fashions, creating crazy inventions with stuff from recycling, reading books about illustrators and other artists. She has been learning to look up books up and find them per the library's system of sorting. She has been learning to swim. She has been learning to do one handed cartwheels and round offs in gymnastics. (I gotta say the round off is looking nice.) At the Center, she plays a lot lately. (Of course that is learning too.) I think she is getting tired of licking envelopes. I can't say I blame her, but when I tell her I have copies to make or holes to punch, as she puts it, "You don't have to ask this girl twice!" Wow. Those are just the things off the top of my head. Who knows what she has been learning while I am not looking? Who knows what she picks up as we play board games, as she plays Mario on the Wii U, as she plays with friends, as she watches You Tube videos. (Right now she is obsessed with the Disney Cars Toys Collection videos. Silly videos. But they are clean and they make her laugh, so who am I to judge.)

Well, this is us. An update for her journal. One day I will spend the hundreds of dollars in ink and paper that it costs to print these out. ;)

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