All Wrong!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I've been reading a lot of homeschool blogs, and everyone is starting fresh for the new year.

I just realized - I'm doing it all WRONG!

I don't have a niche. We're not unschoolers. We're not school at home-ers. We're not pure Charlotte Mason. We're Montessori-esque, but not purists. We meander along the classical spectrum, but I sometimes teach history out of order. We've never diagrammed a sentence (yet, but I'm planning to start...someday). Our children don't have their own desks but we do have a table and a whiteboard. And crayons and markers and Dover coloring books. And a kitchen lab.

This is what my school table looked like at the end of the day yesterday. Don't you have stuffed cows at your school?

If we saw an trail in the sky, we'd discuss contrails. And look up on the internet about them, speculate where they came from (nearby military base? Airshow?) and probably discuss cloud formation. And let's face it, any trip to a weather related website usually ends in a stop at TornadoVideos.

I let my oldest write his spelling words out in the shed today. He works best alone and outside.

My daughter wrote her spelling words sitting under the table with her horses. Using purple marker. My other son wrote his numbers on the marker board.

And I spent much of the day on the floor. (Note to self: must vacuum).

I'm sad to say he was probably barefoot. I cannot keep shoes on my kids. They are just like their dad! I have even made my boys write sentences - "I will wear socks". Because shoes minus socks are just stinky.

Playing Risk is the latest craze, and suddenly my boys know the continents, the oceans, and the locations of several countries. That's one of their friends - I usually have 8 or 9 boys playing all at once because the neighbor kids love the game, too. They have to double up and share colors. Those same friends have convinced my kids that ketchup on bread is a good snack. Bleh.

My boys would die of boredom if they had to do worksheets all day. So we catch snakes and identify them, then draw them in our nature journal. We mix borax and salt and look at it under the microscope. We grow Venus flytraps.

And I don't have a single form filled out to back it up.

Our new science this semester is about the human body. My Kindergartner will be making a lapbook about the 5 senses. The kids got a very cool anatomy pop-up book from their aunt and have been reading it non-stop. I have some Usborne books about muscles, bones, lungs that we'll read.

We'll hit the library. I want to pick up an Anatomical Man - the ones whose bones come out. The dollar store has them, but I want to get a better quality one and Michael's sends out 50% off coupons each weekend, so I'm hoping I can get a deal. I have a book with blackline masters and worksheets, but that's a supplement (and the worksheets will probably find their way into lapbooks, instead of being used as tests.) Maybe we'll use this for our lapbook, too. Maybe not.

I don't give tests. My kids get A's, if I graded (which I don't), because I don't accept it until it's right. Sometimes they have to change their answers several times. I only have 4 students, and I have a pretty good handle on if they've mastered a concept or not. (Well, maybe I do give tests. I've been known to make them spell a couple of their spelling words before I give them a special privilege, like haunting the creek or visiting

And yet I make them write math drills and times tables. I make them write out handwriting sheets even though there is the great possibility that my boys hands might just fall off if they have to write another cursive "C". Every day, they write their spelling words 5x each, in addition to filling out comprehension activities.

HS Mamas - where do you fall on the line? What does your day look like?

The other pictures are of my 7 yo daughter making biscuits from her "American Girl Samantha" cookbook.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/08/2009 10:31:00 AM | Permalink | |