This week was relaxed. I took an “unschooling” approach this week and I loved it!
I believe Raisin did too. This morning, at the end of his hour of listening to Mozart, he said, “You know, if I had to go to school, I wouldn’t have time to do this!”
For math, we’ve been quizzing each other with math problems, playing math games and with math apps, and otherwise avoiding the worksheets.
For history, instead of jumping back in to learning about ancient Greece (which I’ve always loved), I’ve let Raisin read whatever he wants. Raisin found a book at the library called 100 Inventions that Changed the World. He keeps running in to tell me about the cool things he is learning. He wants to add the dates to his timeline.
For English, we’ve been making Valentine’s Day cards and birthday cards for grandparents. I have not made him write any copywork sentences, but he’s still gotten some writing in on those…longer sentences than I would have made him write!
For geography, he has created the Grand Canyon in his closet. He collects a number of books (mostly the science booklets he needs to read for his science class at co-op), and then he goes in the closet with his tablet. He has maps on his tablet and he travels on the maps to the Grand Canyon. I assume he is also reading the books he took in, and pretending to camp out. I am not exactly sure how this takes three hours at a time. When I told him it was time to stop the other day, he was upset with me. I was accused of forgetting how much fun it is to have an imagination. So I’ll let him be with that one.
Yesterday was our 100th day of school (according to my Scholaric tracker). I don’t keep copious notes on what we do each day, but I record whatever I get around to doing with him, even if it is casual. So according to the tracker, it’s been 100 days of school since the day we walked up to get ice cream. I mentioned that to Raisin, and he could not remember the first day of school. I guess that is the downside of having schooled most of the summer and, essentially, his entire life! It all blends together.
Nevertheless, to celebrate the 100th day, I let him go play in the snow. Yes, it was still about zero degrees F. All winter, with all the snow we’ve been getting, I’ve told him we have to wait until it gets warmer. Well, I’ve decided it will never get warmer. We will freeze and then the snow will melt, so I need to allow him to enjoy it now, despite the freezing temperatures.
Today we’ve started off with family scripture and prayer, and then we listened to Benjamin Britten’s Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra for music appreciation. Raisin and Strawberry danced around to it, and Raisin got out his tablet and played on the piano app while he listened along. (We’ll revisit the instruments again next week. Today was about enjoying it.) He then spent almost an hour playing the piano app and listening to (and watching the notes on the app) famous Mozart songs.
He is really impressed with Mozart. “Isn’t Mozart really good, Mom? Do you hear all of those notes?”
At co-op last week, Raisin learned about setting a formal table and meal planning (nutrition was slipped in there too). When he discovered we were having dinner guests on Sunday, he was very excited to set the table. He insisted on using the china and silver, and when I demured because the silver needed to be polished, he offered to do it for me. The table was gorgeous. I was so proud of him. (I wish I’d gotten a picture, but I was scurrying to get the food ready at that point.)
Then, he told me he wanted to learn how to cook. So last night, I spent an hour showing him how to make a roux and white sauce for Fettuccine Alfredo. We had left over chicken, so I did not make him make the chicken as well. His response? “I do want to learn how to cook chicken too, Mom!”
He’s told me he wants to cook again next week. (So, to be honest, he did not cook. He wanted to stay back from the stove, which is okay, since he is only six. So technically, it was just more work for me, but it was a great experience, and I feel he really was learning as he watched me!)
So while we haven’t checked off many of the curriculum boxes this week, it has been fantastic. I don’t think I’ll ever become a “full time unschooler,” but for now, this has been just what we needed. Maybe next week we’ll take out the worksheets and curricula books again.
Then again, maybe we won’t.
I’m linking up with Weekly Wrap-Up.