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

Friday, December 23, 2016

Back To Unschool

We are back to unschooling.

Well, actually, I don't know really what we do anymore.

Ah. I know what we do, we read.

Seriously, we read. I do not know how else to put it.

We are in the Narnia series right now. On Book 2 because we took a little break after Sara was born. Our living Science book is Jack's Insects. We will start that soon. And for History, we are about to start
Story of the World. All...story books. So we read. We usually read one book at a time. But sometimes more. It doesn't matter to us if we are learning Science and History every day or if we learn a little Science for a month, a little literature another few months and then History for a month or two. Whose counting? And then of course we play games. So we read and play games and she and I both are satisfied. Lots of rich learning and problem solving. Don't forget puzzles. That's before all the outside activities.

And then I count practically everything she does still. Like playing and researching her own stuff-which she is beginning to do- and spending a lot of time at the theatre this year, seeing Narnia, Charlie Brown Christmas, and even the Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre! She wants to see Matilda there this Spring. And the biggest thing of all, watching her sister come into the world! Seriously, I think she has seen enough Science to not teach anything th rest of the year. Sam was just a few feet away and I was turned around backward on the bed. She saw it all and she was mesmerized. At first she said it was gross. And she could not believe all the blood after. She kept saying she didn't like it. It was too gross.

But when talking to her a few days ago, I saw that she was just processing it all, and I think it was life changing for her. She told me in the car she thinks she would like to be a nurse in labor and delivery. Not a doctor since they don't get to deliver all day, every day. She wants to help people like my nurse helped me. (My first nurse was an angel.) She said she thinks childbirth is so amazing and magical and she wants to see it again and she wants to help women through it. She also said she loves the hospital setting. The feel she gets when she goes in. The way it is quiet and you can hear the machines and it smells clean. She wants to work in one. She is pretty set on her goal, despite the fact that I told her nurses change bed pans and draw blood, and even if she does not become a nurse 10 years from now, I still think Sara's birth changed her. I love that she has a goal. For the longest time, she would get so upset because she was confused. She would say she didn't know what God wanted her to do and so when I asked her what she wanted to do, she would say she wasn't sure. Or she would say, "Lifeguard would be pretty cool. Or construction worker." (She thinks it would be like playing blocks all day. Ha Ha.) So she has found a passion and has started her research. We will see where it takes her from here.

Other Areas of Growth:

Math: Still just doing the basics. We just learned simple division and next semester we will do fractions, and, if we have time double digit multiplication. That'll probably be this Summer.

Reading: I never help her anymore. Most of the words she asks me about, even I can't even pronounce, mostly names. She is almost done with the Julie American Girl series. She too took a break after Sara. We are all just now getting back to our own books.

Spelling: She spells like a champ. She is always coming up to me spellng words that we never practiced. Well, we don't do spelling words so we don't practice any words...Anywho, she can spell just about anything I give her, within reason, and if she can't, I correct her and the day goes on. She usually remembers it later.

Vocabulary: Her vocabulary is tremendous.  Not only does she know the meaning of words, she uses them consistently in sentences. I believe she purposely puts herself in that habit because she always asks me how she can use certain words in a in a sentence. I told her the other day I use books instead of Internet if I want to research something in depth. She asked what  I meant by "in depth," and then she asked how she could use that in a sentence. I gave her an example and then she said, so could I say, "I slept depthly last night?" Of course I told her no and we talked about why, but I haven't heard her use it since. Maybe soon. She uses a lot of adjectives also. I guess she also just picks stuff up from us reading. She likes to follow my finger/asks what words in the book mean, and she makes mental notes (according to her) on spelling and definitions.

Research: I mentioned earlier she is starting to research. She is getting good. I fell asleep with Sara the other day after a few nights of her constantly rooting around in the dark for my boobs. Tough nights. Anyway, when I woke up 2-1/2 hours later-long nap, she had cleaned her room, played with several toys, and researched better ways to listen to her favorite artist's music on You Tube. She said she had found that you could search entire albums and also learned how to spell album. I love that girl!

Being a Big Sister: I saved the best for last. She has learned so much this year about pregnancy and development. (I planned to use the What to Expect book with her, but found that she learned more by watching me throw up, going to my ultrasounds/appointments, seeing me grow, and experiencing my recovery with me.) But the learning didn't stop there. She learned being a big sister to a screaming new baby is hard! She has learned about reflux and gas and how to burp a baby and she even changed some diapers. She is learning to calm her now that she isn't completely stuck to mommy. She has played with her, researched her development, and just plain loved on her. (Yesterday they played "airplane" and Sara spit up all over her face. I told her it's part of the big sister package. lol)

All is good. This year has already been a big success. I can't wait to see what next year brings as I watch two grow. (Of course Sara does school too.) They each "take part" in what the other is doing. Sara snoozes in and out while we read and Sam shows Sara things, tells her what they are and talks to her about family and holidays. And then of course there is tummy time. Seeing them both grow makes things go by a bit to quickly for my liking, but it makes it twice as special.

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