We are going to be starting school August 22. We are now starting the back to school countdown. There are 10 days until the first day of school. Homeschool moms across the country are starting the curriculum chatter, the organizing, the planning. So.....how about me?
I don't have a curriculum. I don't have any new, shiny workbooks. I do have several old workbooks with some scattered blank pages. And I have several shiny new folders for creating "work books". And we have library cards.
This is our third year of homeschooling. And last year God impressed on me that we needed to be developing more than academics in our house. Don't get me wrong, my girls are learning alot. I have a 5 year old who can add, subtract, and multiply, and is on the cusp of reading. My "almost 8 year old" is writing books, and illustrating them, and has several movies and games "in various stages of development" ~SSShhhh..she likes planning more than actually doing, so they will probably remain in the development stage!~
Around June of last year I caught Alea telling someone that we were still on "Spring Break". And when Darrell came home one day, she told him "We've been lazy all day! We didn't do any school work at all!!!" So Darrell said "What DID you do?" And Alea replied, "Oh, we just sat around and talked about the layers of our air, and recycling, and we talked about our food groups, and how much we are supposed to eat of each. And we planned all our meals for the next couple of days, so we got all our food groups in. And mom read Nancy Drew to us." Ah, lazy days! And they never realized they were learning.
I wondered last year if this "freestyle" natural learning would really be effective. Well, after the summer of no school structure whatsoever, I can see academic growth in my girls. We did NO school work. But we spent family time playing games like Yahtzee, Dominoes, Uno, Checkers, reading and writing, answering questions. And we have already reviewed last years work, so in 10 days we can jump right into learning new things.
Hey, before long they are going to be older. They will be taking algebra , and all kinds of subjects that will need to be taught from a curriculum. I am going to enjoy the freestyle learning while I can.
*Natalie's helpful hint of the day ~ When playing games with your kids, start changing the way you have them count the dots on dominoes and dice. I used to have them add them. Now, if they have doubles, I say "ah, you have two fours. What is four two times, or four times two?" Yahtzee if fun because you can go multiply up to x5. And it helps them learn to think conceptually about math, instead of memorizing math facts. It gives math meaning!