Thursday, December 6, 2007

If there's a problem, Yo, I'll solve it. Check out my hook while my D.J. revolves it.

O.K.-so ask twenty homeschoolers what exactly they do and you'll probably get twenty different answers. It's so individual- which is how it should be because every child is an individual. I'm not sure how to define our homeschooling style. The words relaxed and eclectic spring to mind. I know when we first started it was a radical unschooling approach. They were little guys (4 and 5) so no "schoolwork" or homework just lots of time outside- meeting other homeschoolers at park day twice a week. We did many many art projects, read aloud, went to every library program that was of interest to them. We went on field trips to the zoo, the pumpkin patch, museums. I planned some of the trips, others we just joined in on. I didn't worry (much) about them keeping up academically with schoolchildren their age. They would have been considered "late" readers by public school standards. Griffin was about 11 and Riley about 10 when they started reading on their own. Sometime around when Griffin was 12, my husband, Tim started having concerns-actually I think he always was concerned he just started voicing it. He thought they were falling too far behind so that's when we started doing "schoolwork" most weekdays.
Last year Tim started reading to them from a history book. This year he's doing math with them about three times a week. I read aloud to them most days- classic literature, historical fiction, articles from the newspaper or the computer. We also get a lot of documentary movies from the library. Today they were writing stories- I helped them with their spelling a little. I told Riley that Guadalupe was a girls name but he wasn't hearing it. I helped him spell Antoine and we looked up whether palm trees produced coconuts. We also learned about Saint Nicholas and discussed religious intolerance (he hated Pagans) and how December 6th was chosen by the Catholic Church because it was originally a Pagan holiday honoring the Goddess Diana. Most of our "lessons" happen organically with little or no planning. Here's how todays "lesson" came about-
We have this little battery operated stuffed mouse- a Christmas decoration. If you press his foot he lights up , starts dancing and singing. The song is Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. Griffin and Riley are huge into music now so I started telling them about how years ago Vanilla Ice got in some trouble with that song and had to settle out of court for copyright infringement. So we googled the subject- watched some youtube videos and basically learned some things about copyright law. Of course I'm probably breaking the very laws we just learned about by posting these links but they are too cool-

  • Vanilla Ice - I so want to learn this dance! Word to your Mother.
  • Queen and David Bowie- this video led to a discussion about the Depression and soup lines. Also about controlled implosions and building demolition. And Zombies.
  • Official Government site - click the student and teacher link on this site for several animated movies about the subject- a little young for Griffin and Riley but we thought they were pretty funny.

1 comment:

PamelaJ said...

I really love "relaxed and eclectic" and just the term "radical" excites me. The Sunday after Thanksgiving I nearly cried, just imagining what it would be like if I had to send Rachel to school the following day.

You are so brilliantly ahead of the pack.