I was sitting here thinking about the learning that takes place every day in our household with our mindset. Sometimes it’s not so noticeable, sometimes it is.
A couple of examples that hit me today. Yesterday, I was telling Chris that football sign-ups are this month. He asked when football starts, so I answered in August. He asked how far away was that. Rather than rattling off the answer, I asked what month is it now? He answered May. I asked how long is it from May to August? He stopped for a moment, and said 3 months. I nodded my head, confirmed that he was right, and he headed out the back door to play on the trampoline, pleased at having arrived at the answer himself. Chris is 13, well old enough to figure it out for himself, but again, it reminds me that if I just rattle off an answer, he’s not learning to how to learn. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that we have to take a moment to learn for ourselves. That’s my goal, is to teach these children that nothing is out of reach… anything they want to know, they can figure out. I’m happy to help facilitate that learning wherever and whenever possible, and if I can’t help lead them to the answer, I can lead them in the direction that will find the answer. This was a small, 2-minute conversation. But it’s an example of a homeschooling/unschooling mindset.
A couple of hours later, when he asked me when we were going to start homeschooling, and I responded that we would start on Monday, I had to smile. He doesn’t even realize that we’re ALWAYS homeschooling in our house. 🙂 He asked what we were going to do for PE, after he’d been jumping on the trampoline for nearly an hour straight. 🙂
Our more formal schooling will start Monday, when we head to the library for a copy of Where the Red Fern Grows (what he was working on in English class, and he wants to finish the book, because he said it’s really really good), and the movie, which we will watch AFTER we each read the book. But I’m sure the discussions that we have about it afterward will be another one of those moments where he doesn’t recognize that we’re “homeschooling” again. Learning comes so much more naturally when you discuss what you’ve read, talk about the differences between the book and the movie, discuss how certain parts make you feel (I already know I WILL cry, that book always made me cry), talk about the subject matter and all the other questions that he would have been tested over or filling out on a worksheet. Of course, I’ll post our discussions here, and he’ll have an entry to make in his portfolio (which I consistently refer to as a scrapbook) to document it.
Today he’ll help us figure out how much we’ll spend at the movies this afternoon (we’re going to see Iron Man 2 – matinee), and how much we’ll save by going to the matinee over the later movie. We’ll talk about a budget for concessions, and have a couple of math lessons on a Sunday. 🙂
And I’m sure tomorrow, he’ll be excited about “starting” homeschooling! 🙂
And, as I was about to sign off, all three of the boys came out here wanting to look at a tornado. So we spent a moment pulling up pictures of tornadoes, while Chris gave a very good abbreviated version of how tornadoes happen, and we spent a few minutes having a short lesson on how tornadoes develop, as well as the difference between a hurricane and tornado. We also discussed which was more dangerous and destructive, and they went back to watch their movie (The Day After Tomorrow) with a promise to find out more about it soon. Here we are, on Sunday, on Mother’s Day, with plans to watch Iron Man 2 this evening, but the kids got a 20 minute lesson on tornadoes and hurricanes at 1:40 in the afternoon. I’ll add that to our lesson plan this week, for all three boys. Anyone want to tell me that child-led learning doesn’t work? 😛
Chris just walked out here to tell me that Kody (one of the 5-year-olds) remarked when the tornadoes were done (on the movie), Kody said, “They should have called 9-1-1.” Too cute!!! 🙂