Right now we’re just doing a smattering of this and that, more unschooling than anything. One day I just told them to get out their workbooks and they did what they wanted- more than I would have even suggested. Other days I add in certain things like additional math pages for the 7 year old or writing ideas so we’ve got more well rounded days, but in general no one has the energy to waste on things like what is a mandatory learning standard. Call me crazy, but I never learned anything in December in public school anyway. Too many practices for music plays, crafts, and general hubbub and excitement. The kids are actually finding things to do for themselves and happy, so I went with it this week. I actually can’t believe it’s Friday– we survived a week with daddy at work (pending, as the kids aren’t even up and it’s Friday morning)… it’s certainly a lot harder to have ‘maternity leave’ when you have 3 kids already. I can’t pretend this was a banner week, but we have a newborn that’s not gaining much weight and a toddler that will NOT stay out of trouble, so in general it’s a madhouse and I am practicing forgiveness. Since most of the time the kids do 2-3x what other kids their age do in a day, I’m certain a week or 2 in the span of a lifetime of exploring what they want to learn won’t hurt them any. At least they’re motivated!
My 7 year old decided to read The Wizard of Oz (see below) after we watched the first half of the Wiz LIVE! show. She had to have something to do during everyone else’s nap time–and reading is mom approved. So once we had finished the rest of the show, I asked her what she found different between the live televised play and the book. She mentioned that the TV version was a grown up and not a kid–clearly she doesn’t understand how being a teenager works 🙂 — and I mentioned the dog didn’t go with them on the trip. If the kids had been older, I would have brought up some of the underlying themes I saw that either I completely made up in my own head or were put there on purpose. The whole thing to me seemed like a cloaked version of ‘everything is going to be okay, don’t give up, things are going to improve if you just work at it’… aimed at a racial or socioeconomic population segment. I don’t recall anything like that in the actual book per se, just the overall ‘home is best’ or ‘you already have all you need’ themes. Whatever– the kids are too young so we’ll put that on the back burner for another time. We’re hoping to find the original black and white version on TV or some other way so they can see the difference as well.
They spent a lot of time outside– it’s 60-ish degrees in December– who knows how long it will last, another reason I’m not jumping to keep them glued to their chairs–we have all winter to be inside reading and working on papers, and for now it’s warm-ish–a lot more than usual. They spent a lot of time climbing trees or making up games that revolved around trees, superhero type things and magic. Recess is important. Long live recess.
Workbooks–the 7 year old worked out of her 2nd grade (completed long vowel section) and dug into the 1st grade workbook she has as well, mostly the games from it–but still educational nonetheless. The 4 year old worked on numbers 1-4.
Art: The both did winter color by number and some Color Wonder! pages and we talked about creativity and how 2 people can do the same thing and it look completely different even with the same materials. For instance the 7 year old added pink candy cane stripes to her color by number gingerbread house.
I had the 4 year old practice writing her name and the 7 year old make a list of ‘things you could turn into gingerbread houses’, and then gave her a magazine that listed more for reference and had her update her ideas– this was her writing for the week (since most of her pages focused on language anyway, that’s all we did)– this may turn into an edible project later in the month!
4 year old had her workbook pages and practiced counting by 5s and 10s
7 year old did multiple ‘piggy bank’ easy double digit addition pages.
The Wiz LIVE! (TV)
We’ve been listening to Christmas music.
7 year old reading:
Pink Princess Rules the School by Crowne
Let’s Get Invisible by Stine
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb by Stine
Wizard of Oz by Baum
A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Papademetriou
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Mother of 3
I find we’re taking most of the month of Dec. off to and relying a lot on unschooling. It’s such a hectic time and I think your argument about public school kids not covering much this month either is quite true. Today we’re watching movies and we read a few books. It’s nice and relaxing before things really get crazy!