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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

What will we do today, Sami?

I know I say it all the time, but it is insane to me how we can wake up so many mornings and not know what we are doing that day. And yet, those are the days where we get the most done. I mean I have literally been asked what I have planned for the day and I'll say, "Well, right now I'm cleaning. But once Samantha gets up I'll ask her. Who knows?"

Like the other day. With the Math. I never would have expected when I woke up that morning that math would click with her that day! And the coolest part is to see how one thing leads into another. A book about zero leading into practicing double digit addition???

Later that night I remembered a series of books a friend told me about at our last Board Meeting. They were called "Life of Fred." It is actually considered a curriculum, but they are just math novels.  Nothing else. There are no hidden agendas and very little work, of which is totally optional anyway. And it connects math to everyday life....If it isn't something she will use on a regular basis, I don't think she needs to learn it until she encounters it. Say, for a job. But enough before I go on a tangent. Relax unschooling amigos, don't get your panties in a wad. I didn't run off and buy it because another formal Homeschool Mom said she needed to learn math from a book. I bought it because she researched it with me and asked for it. But I got a Hella deal so even if it does end up sitting on the shelf, who cares? Maybe the next one will enjoy it. Maybe not. But we can sell it for more if we wanted to.

I want to celebrate her new love of math with her. I want to support her. She now says it is her favorite "subject." (We try not to segregate learning like that, but I guess that's the way our society works. And we were raised that way. So she does know schools have subjects.) She has been practicing on the computer the last few days. And can't wait to get her books.

When we went to bed that night we had no clue what we would do the next morning.

It's funny. One thing into another.

The next morning came. She woke up and I had to do errands real quick. I asked her in the car what she wanted to do. She wasn't quite sure. I said, "You can work on your gallery, yard art, play toys, read, board games..." "Card games?" I told her yes. Then she proceeded to make up a game called "Yard Art." She begins tell me the rules that didn't make a who lot of sense....I stopped her and told her that made up games are for her and her friends. I don't play them.

Bad. I know.

But that is one thing that rubs me wrong.

Then I realized that I was slowly on my way to killing her self confidence and creativity.


I hung my head. What was the advice I read in a recent essay? If a child has the need to throw things, don't tell him not to throw. He isn't being a brat. He has a need. Meet that need. Buy him things that are for throwing. And teach him the appropriate time to throw.


"Sam...How about we make a boardgame?" And THAT was it from there. She was flowing with ideas. Some big. Some small. Mostly big. She wants a pop up game where you pull an arrow and out something pops. Etc Etc. I leave those ideas up to her. I wouldn't know where to start. However,  we work well together though because I can help her slow down and see the whole project in steps. Wheras, she only sees the big picture.

We got a lot done today.  She decided on a game with an art theme.  It will be called Master Painters. It is a board game. We have the perfect box for it. And a piece of cardboard for the board. She settled on a layout. The object is to collect 5 paintings so you can get into art school. (You make your own "paintings" which are drawings and the art school accepts you based on them.) She started making cards. There will be action cards and cards with facts about at and artists. It will be made of mostly recycled materials some "that's what at is about." And she has already thought about what the pieces will be and where to put the directions.

 I have to say,  it is a good activity. Makes you think and plan. Get creative. And Most importantly it has her excited.

And to think, this morning we had no idea what we were going to do...

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