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

Friday, August 21, 2015

What It's All About

Our "school year" is shaping up to be a good one. Really it is. Our rhythm has changed a bit. S wakes up an hour earlier on her own. (She tends to go to bed an hour earlier too.) And with her being a bit older-nearing 7-she has a better idea of what she wants to learn and how to carry it out. Not to mention, all the home time we seem to be getting the last few weeks. Even when activities start back regularly, I think we will still have lots of down time. I have a better handle on our schedule this year. I am learning how to stagger playdates and pile plans.

When S wakes up, we usually read. And the last week or so she picks something to do afterward. She likes to play her Reader Rabbit Game on the computer to help with her math. Some days she chooses experiments. Others she chooses to play chess. The rest of the day after about 2 or 3 hours is play. Just like usual. Some days we work for 5-6 hours and don't even realize it. Like the two days in a row we prepared her gallery to be "shown to the public." She set everything up the way she wanted it to make sure we had enough art and enough space. She talked about what she wanted to say. We made a video to put on a Facebook invite that we made. And picked a cover photo and all. Then I showed her how to make a slideshow-because she wanted to make one with all the pictures I have of her doing all different types of art that are not in her gallery. She did some crocheting, but not enough to make an exhibit. And her YouTube videos are too much to display, so I have several pictures I took while filming and we added those in. THANKFULLY we are closing out this chapter because last Spring it became more work than play. S didn't do it up as big as she had talked about because it turned out to be a LOT of work for a 6 year old. Like an unbearable amount. Lots of repetitiveness. So she opted out of the hand written invitations and she didn't feel right charging admission or selling her art. So no need for a cash register. But everything looks so nice. Her best art pieces will be displayed. And I have to say she learned a tremendous amount about art and artists during that time. It just started becoming something she asked to do less and less as time went on. When we stopped "working" in the Summer, she began doing her art again on her own time. And even more now that my brother is back in school. She has such a passion for it. Last night she drew me over and over again for hours critiquing her own work until she got it just the way she wanted it. That is what I like to

The next thing we will be spending large amounts of time doing is SCIENCE! I just ordered her a microscope with all kinds of cool goodies, 2 glass beakers, a glass flask, a glass graduated cylinder, 6 glass test tubes, a test tube rack, test tube clamp, beaker tongs, Lithmus Paper, a glass pipette, 20 petri dishes, and a pair of impact resistant goggles for each of us. Got it all for $80. Not a bad investment. And it all (including the microscope) had great reviews! I can't wait to let her start working with all of it. I found some simple experiments to begin with. Growing mold in a petri dish. Chemical reactions in the kitchen. Collecting pond water. S has a TON of things she wants to view under the microscope: pet hairs, human hairs, bugs, nails, food, leaves...the lists goes on. Then after we have exhausted out resources there, Hubby has given us the okay to move on to simple chemicals. Hydrochloric acid. Zinc powder. Sulfur. That sort of stuff. At that point I will get a mortar and pestal, evaporating dish, a crucible, and a BUNSEN BURNER! Ah. I can't wait. That may be a year from now. I do not see her losing interest in Science together. We may not do it as frequently, but Science is all about excitement and S LOVES excitement. For years, she has loved her experiments. We have done some and she creates her own. She is always full of questions and wants to experiment on her own to find answers. She loves to explore. Today at the creek she told me that the water was rushing so fast. She hypothesized it was because of all the rain and she explained WHY all the rain would cause that! Insanity.

Speaking of today-It was good too. I woke S up-last minute decision as usual-and said, "Let's go ride bikes in the middle of town!" She was ecstatic. We rode for 2-1/2 hours. It was off and on. We looked in a few stores for a bit. And we stopped at a baseball field where she asked about how to play baseball. We desperately needed a break at that point so we lingered for about 10 minutes. We finally made it back to the car and the creek where we set up our hammock and enjoyed doing one of our favorite things-reading in the hammock! Then went to the playground and visited a friend. Came home. And pretty much crashed. S played and played and played in her room. Now this is what homeschool is about. Play. Spending time together. Doing the things you would do in the Summer all year long. I can tell this is going to be one of our best years!

Side Note: Tomorrow S's chess book come in! I will be looking over it first so I can correct the ways I am teaching her. Then we will go over it together. That is another thing to work on this year. She opted against the chess lessons because the class was so large it made her uncomfortable. So we talked about it and decided to use the book the instructor uses and go over it ourselves. S also had her first Heritage Girls meeting last Tuesday! She had a blast. She didn't make any new friends, but she talked to everybody and they worked on a project to teach them a little about the group. It was just the new girls that night, but the week after next it will be all of them. This year-like every year-is just making us both so giddy with excitement over new adventures and new things to learn. To yet another year.

Making Another You Tube Video!

Making a Slideshow

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