Alright let’s finally wrap up 2012 and be done with it.
I want to start out this post by saying I almost messed up reading in our household. I have written previously of my journey into reading and the letting go of my “book worship” by realizing how much “reading” both girls do on a daily basis. I found out along the way that the very books other homeschooling circles dismissed as “twaddle” were what the girls actually enjoyed reading and why would I not want my daughters to enjoy reading? Once I got past this hurdle reading took off in our home *beyond* any of my expectations. I also realized the point of learning to read is to be able to gather information.
If my children were in school they would be taught all the fundamentals of reading and writing. They would need to know how to read and write to be able to read the textbooks (which many schools now use tablets) and answer questions or write reports so the teacher can make sure the child understands what they are reading. They need to be able to read and write to pass tests.
Since we unschool we do not use textbooks as our only resource to gather information. There are more ways to gather information than just books. Since we unschool I am with my children all day and since we do have conversations and they ask me questions when they have them I know what they are learning. There is no need for them to take tests.
Both girls are able to use the computer and research any questions they may have. Both girls are quite capable of finding video games, games, books, movies, YouTube videos, recipes, crafts or just about anything they might want to use to further their knowledge. As their facilitator I help fill in the cracks with anything they might have missed or didn’t even know they would like. I set up our “nest” with lots of interesting things that I might find that could spark curiosity. Maybe it’s a new puzzle.
Maybe it’s a new poem I might write on the chalkboard that is in our kitchen.
Another example is we have a table that I set different things on in our living room like maybe one week there might be new magazines or different pods or seeds we found while hiking. Right now there is a holder filled with pens and pencils and a Christmas word search and game tablet that my dad sent us. The girls are surrounded by information.
One more example I will use is Miss Sky found a book about the Titanic *she* loves. I noticed not very long ago on Netflix there was a BBC miniseries about the Titanic and asked if she wanted to watch it with me and she did. Papa and I love music, I mean all sorts of music from Jimmie Rogers to Foo Fighters. So I didn’t hesitate adding a CD filled with songs that was played during the Titanic’s voyage to our collection. Which led Papa down the rabbit trail of discovering Scott Joplin which led the girls to making their own black and white silent movies. This is what unschooling looks like in our home.
So now with all that being said what were the girls favorite resources we used in 2012 to help learn the art of language?
2012 was all about comic books, manga and anime so I think I will start with Disney create. This is one of the girls most favorite websites. The girls learned how to create all kinds of animation
, flip books and lots of comic books.
The more research the girls do on-line, especially Miss Sky reading video game and game console reviews (she researched both the Wii and 3 DS to make sure they were what she wanted) the better their spelling and typing get.
Little Sis realized she could read this year. I give her playing video games on the computer, like Animal Jam, most all the credit. Miss Sky’s spelling increased tremendously by her wanting to make sure her words were spelled correctly while talking to the other “jammers”.
Their vocabulary also increased tremendously thanks to their love of the television show Martha Speaks. This led the girls wanting to read the original stories by Susan Meddaugh
and to creating all kinds of works of art.
The X-men cartoons on Netflix introduced the girls to the world of science fiction and comic books.
The video game Kingdom Hearts introduced the girls to the world of Manga where Little Sis pieced together she could read more than her favorite book series Elephant and Piggie.
Which led the girls to creating their own manga stories
and Miss Sky researching character and plot developments from her favorite video games for her own characters development.
Since sketch books can get a little pricey, for us anyhow, the girls learned how to create rough drafts by first using notebooks to sketch out their story.
Miss Sky has also been watching the behind the scenes of how animated movies are made and has been using her walls like a draft story board. The girls like to mute movies and come up with their own story-lines too which can get rather silly at times.
Magazines? Miss Sky loved her subscriptions to Ranger Rick and Nintendo Power last year however Nintendo Power has stopped publishing and she has moved on from Ranger Rick with the magazine Otaku USA.
Little Sis loved her My Big Backyard (now Ranger Rick Jr.) and Hi Five magazines
but she too feels it is time to move on with Ranger Rick and Lego magazine. She also liked her subscription to the Highlights Puzzle Club.
The stories Alice in Wonderland and Fruits Basket( with the girls getting me hooked on my first manga series) played a really big part in our year too.
Last but not least we love playing the games Disney Apples to Apples (with poison apples using opposites), Disney Pictionary, Charades,and hangman (which is a fun use of the chalkboard too).
Yes I think we had a very productive year and want to end these posts by saying all of it came by me following the girls interests. No curriculum, no forced worksheets, no forced anything. Every single thing I listed from this year’s review posts was what *they* wanted to do.
2013 here we come!