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

Friday, June 3, 2016

"Summer School" Update

I panicked a little last week. Okay. A lot. I lost it because I was going through my calendar, big mistake, adding every little thing we have to do this Summer, right down to "school," playing tennis on Wednesday mornings, and going to the pool on Fridays. Aa usual, I have my brother this Summer. So I'm thinking, "How on Earth am I going to get time with my precious Only before Baby Sara comes this Fall. Ahh... Then my mind starts racing and all these scenarios play though about how busy we will be and how I will just be "doing school" to check it off my list and Summer is supposed to be relaxed and S is going to hate me forever. I'M THE WORST MOM...EVER!!!! Fast forward to this week. Okay. Actually, it wasn't as bad as I made it out to be. Most weeks I only have my brother 3 days. But this week I had him the whole week. And it went...smooth. And I realized that our new "school time" is so flexible and so fun that it IS part of our Summer relaxation. I spend the last two weeks before we started finishing up all the projects I would usually do during the Summer while my brother distracts S. Mwahaha. You know, like the bi-annual house scrub down. Minus the moving of the furniture. Because, I'm too pregnant to do that. That would be bad, right? *shift eyes* Serious though, I also got the rooms all situated. S wants to share a room with other S, because "all her other friends get to do it!" Okay. So they have a sleep room and a play room and it looks amazing! And we have somewhere to do our puzzles all spread out on the floor. Except not on my round belly. Wah. Off track here. So I got all that nesting stuff out of the way. And we have just spend the days playing games and reading. And they challenge each other on the math games and they bounce off each others questions for the reading. (even though my brother jumped in the Paddle to the Sea book half way through and I totally made it optional for him to join, just like with S, he wanted to and he is loving it!) And they are all, "So the iron ore turned him red?" and "I know what the stream leads into!" And I'm like, "Look how much this adds to our days!" We just kind start when we feel like it. Usually when they are bored of playing. And then we go on until...we don't even realize the time anymore! Next thing we know, 3 hours of making change and adding up money has gone by! And they don't even care they missed their time on the Wii U. And that is where we are. S is catching on at an incredible rate and I am thanking God that I stood back and let her play all those months instead of pushing her to learn her math. Because in the end, I'd rather spend one good day learning it and practicing it, than a whole month trying to explain it 50 billion different ways and wanting to rip my hair out in 30 million different directions. So this week she learned, and I mean truly learned how to carry the one in addition, borrow in subtraction, add up change, and make change for a dollar. And really, I cant ask for more. Can I? And she applies them in real life situations. And she enjoys it. And I'm like, "I took a risk (by today's standards-letting her play) and I can finally breath again!" We will definitely delay academics for Miss Sara too. Unless she shows signs of wanting more. We will get there when we get there I supposed. But now I feel better. And not like the worst Mom is the world. And I know we have time to learn in a informal/formal-ish way. And at the same time, they spend the mornings playing while I do my housework. And then on the days we aren't home, we are out doing Summer stuff. Going to the lake. Camping. Hiking. Parks. Pool. Slushies. Six Flags. Boat. Mini Vacations. You know, outdoor stuff. Good balance. I couldn't ask for more. Right Start has really worked for us. Math is so much fun on explained on a board we can all write on, using an abacus, and practicing on games. As for the CM curriculum, we have focused more on the reading, but this Fall, will make a habit of our weekly studies for nature and art. However, the reading is packed with learning opportunities. Until then, Summer is for learning/catching up on the basics as her birthday nears and the typical school year is for what we do best-playing, picking topics to study, going to events, taking classes, ask that stuff that tends to keep us busy. And this year, learning our new family member. Hooray!

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