I would offer up to say we are completely unschooling but after posting some things to one of my yahoo group I think that maybe we are closer to it than I thought. I don’t know if we will ever be radical unschoolers but I am enjoying the changes we are making towards that point. When I sat to describe what we do with our son on a typical it sounded very much like unschooling.
So far our daughter’s learning has been more structured but some of that has been by her request. This is our first year of home schooling after all and we are still figuring things out. But strewing and letting the creative juices just run, looking up fun things about special interests and all of that seem to be working a lot better.
Since it is my own writing I am going to freely share my response to what to do with a 4 yr old.
Play with him. He doesn’t need structured learning. Find some games that would be fun to play on the computer together. Make some mud pies, blow bubbles, play with blocks, put yourself back to that age and think about the fun things you liked to do. Read to him. Our son loves chutes and ladders, big sister, mommy and or daddy. He is learning to read, work with numbers, and a ton of other miscellaneous information. All of it through play. Go on a picnic and watch the clouds take shape. We love picnics especially have it gets warmer. He like to feed ants and watch them carry the food back to their hill., , playing go fish and Old Maid. His favorite activity though is anything he can do with his
We also like snuggling and watching movies and cartoons. We dance after dinner to whatever music we put on. Well mommy and kids sometimes just put music on during the day and get silly. Our 4 yr old is a bundle of energy so we do fly from one thing to the next. Mommy is learning to relax and let the hurricanes strike the house. We actually play clean up after bath time so that we can find everyone’s beds and even find our way through the house. The mazes that we have to travel through and the traps we have to bypass to get places inside and out are a ton of fun. Then as we wind down and read stories, our 10 yr old daughter reads to us and sometimes to herself. The 4 yr old has his favorite author, , so he is memorizing the stories and we have fun and enjoy reading and we get out the last of the wiggly energy. Then Mr. O’Bear comes to visit. Mr. O’Bear was created in my father’s mind before he learned to read, adventure stories that he would tell me to fall alseep to. We go tromping through his special forest where trees are a different color every night. We catch fish to feed to this size changing bear who thinks fish is the best food on earth. Then Mommy snuggles with the little man while daddy snuggles with our little lady and we each have a special song that we sing to the kids. Then we switch and before you know it the day is over and daddy goes to work and mommy slips off to dreamland shortly there after.
Sounds a bit chaotic and trust me some days there is a lot of chaos, but there is also a certain amount of order to the chaos. Throw in a trip to the local aquarium or the beautiful gardens with a zoo and watch the chaos really begin as both children run hither and yon because there is so much to see and do. Not to mention being minutes from the beach where hours of digging in the sand, body surfing and picnicking lead to amazing discoveries and shell collection that is growing by leaps and bounds.
Now as to how my daughter’s day usually goes.
We wake up and check email, have breakfast and we each settle in to do some school work. I am also in school so it works out well. As for communication we are using a free chat messenger to ask and answer questions. We stop for a bit and send funny pictures, files and sounds to each other. We email each other and all kinds of different things. Her pen pal is on the opposite coast so they have a hit and miss schedule and it is allowed that when her friend shows up online she can take a break and they can chat. Noting that there is an improvement in her writing skills as time goes by.
While I am cleaning the kitchen and planning the meals and snacks for the rest of the day, she sits and has a small snack and drink while doing some written work. I have set up a three ring binder of unit studies. Instead of assigning pages for her to do she can sit and work on which ever ones catch her attention. I try to make sure that there is some relevance between them, but that doesn’t always happen.
By lunch time we are done with official school. It is time to decide what to do with the rest of the day. Some times it is watch shows and movies online, some times it is games, some times we have to make a trip out some place. Daddy has usually gotten up at this point and we might even do some kind of family thing. From time to time this doesn’t hold up at all and we have planned a trip some where exciting or even just ordinary such as going to the library.
Then it is time to get dinner going and talk and chat about a variety of activities and events. Things of interest that just pop up out of nowhere. We do have both kids share in meal prep and clean up. Sometimes we watch a movie during dinner. However, sitting squished around our little kitchen table we enjoy each other’s company. Lately we have been working a bit on table etiquette. We will see how that goes. But learning not chew with our mouth open, not to talk with our mouth full of food, things that are just gross. Not for social acceptance but just being respectful of everyone and good common sense manners.
Well, I have quite a list of things to do today before Pa-Pa arrives for a short visit. The kids are excited and waiting for a new game to download. Toon Town, a kids MMORPG. Hopefully Morgan will have an easier time with this one. We all enjoy helping him and all that but he does want to be able to play on his own like a big boy.
Maybe, just maybe I will be able to get into regular posting. We will see how things progress.
Light and love!