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Not Back to School Monday

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Posted on : 8:59 AM | By : Nic | In : ,



I rarely laugh at homeschool- centric comics but this one got a chuckle out of me, lol. Today is Not Back to School day, and I am participating even though here in BC school doesn't start until September 8 on a Tuesday. But it all works because I am gearing up for the year. Yesterday I went to Costco and got a huge pack of construction paper, world maps, pens, and some of those fun colorful workbooks. I had forgotten that Autumn is going to be 4 this year and preschool-age... I felt a sudden shock that I have TWO girls learning at home.

I also made three polar fleece blankets out of some scraps I had around, so I can use them Montessori-style as learning mats. Why three? The baby will soon be crawling and I want to be ready to try implementing the Duggar-recommended Blanket Time. Rather than the baby roaming crazily, I bring stuff to the baby so she learns a bit of self-control in sitting still. It's not an all-day thing, just 10 minutes here and there if I need it.

My homeschool philosophy this year I can only call Child-Led Eclectic Homeschool. I did get them each two workbooks, one of them a floor-size writing workbook for Preschool and First Grade, for Autumn an alphabet workbook, and for Annie a science workbook. But, these are for their own fun and they don't necessarily have to do them every day. They are good to have as starting points so they will get into the right mindset and be actively learning, and also if they can't think of anything to do. As for 'required subjects', there are only three:

Foreign Language: French
Math
Phonics/ Grammar and Spelling

We will be getting Rosetta Stone for our French program and learning as a family. I'm actually not a big French fan but to hold any government job or high-up business position you have to be bilingual here, and we also want to take a trip to Quebec one day so it makes sense.

For math I want to get Math-U-See and games like Dominoes, Yahtzee, etc. Actually I love games for learning and my wish list is full of them. Chess, expansion sets for Settlers of Catan, Set, Made for Trade, Ravensburger games...

Phonics is from An Acorn in My Hand for Autumn, we're not going to do much grammar this year, but Spelling will be words that we read and write that are misspelled, plus I want to get Natural Speller.

Other than that we will be purchasing things on the fly as they express an interest. I do need to grab some sketch books and more glue and watercolors, but that's about it.

Why is Not Back to School so great? Because it's fun for me too!

Comments (4)

Hey! I'm an 18 year old unschooler, and when I saw this post, I just really wanted to throw my two cents in... Hope you don't mind!

As an unschooler, and someone who is passionate about unschooling, I always wince slightly when I see that people are "teaching" their children, especially at such a young age! When pushed to do something, I find most people resist, and that holds especially true in terms of learning. The last thing my mother stopped trying to force on me was math (she stopped when I was about 11), and to date that's still the subject I like least, and the one that has the most baggage, bad feelings and fear attached to it. Reading, however, which wasn't really pushed (I only really started reading at age 8 or 9), is something I absolutely LOVE to do. I'm also now a prolific writer, with a blog I adore and update regularly, and a regular book review column in a national homeschooling magazine.

I realize not everyone will choose to unschool, and that's fine, but I really want to let people know that, by forcing things, they risk making learning into something that's a chore, instead of a wonderful, exciting, eye-opening lifelong journey!

Peace,
Idzie

Hi thanks for your insightful comments! I am a home learning graduate too and I rarely hear from other alumni. I was raised in a traditional homeschool environment, and I have a few unschooled friends and we all seem to have gone somewhere in-between unschooling and homeschooling. When I first started out I was 100% unschooling my 2 girls, but I realized that as a parent I do 'teach'... by the very nature of the job. Not in a coercive way, but by example and by expectation. I also have one with Asperger's and she literally freaks out when there isn't a structure in place, a program to follow.
So while unschooling works for many, I have found that my children thrive much better with this inbetween version balance that I have found. :)
I definitely agree that forcing doesn't work, but my hope is to 'teach' my children that sometimes doing the unpleasant things is necessary in life. I know that even though I was self-taught most of the time, I still wouldn't have done half the things I value now and I am so glad my Mom made me do.

My dd just graduated from homeschool this year. She is going to college to play violin in the orchestra. She wishes now that she had done more school in the area's she didn't love as much as music, like math for example. But I am sure she will do fine at college because she knows how to learn and how to think.

Hey Mindy, it's always nice to have another opinion to validate my own, lol. I'm sure she'll do fine too. Unschooling and homeschooling gives kids the tools to learn, and that's all you truly need I suppose. :)