I think sometimes when a person says they unschool the image that automatically enters into ones mind is a child sitting on the couch playing video games all day, and sometimes this can be the case. As one that likes to keep it real, I am not going to tell you my children would rather read and do science experiments over playing video games. However the girls do like having interesting conversations, baking, playing games, and watching documentaries too. I just need to make sure they get included into our day. I mean how does one do Interest-Led learning if you don’t know what might interest you ? I thought I would share a few ideas and resources I found that has helped spark interests in our family.
I have mentioned before how we start each day with “circle time” where we gather together(here lately lounged on the sofa) and make a list of what we might want to do today. This list is for all of us not just the girls. For instance Papa has had a few extra hours before going to work this week and wanted to play a few games together. Yesterday we played our new favorite game Spot It and today we played Uno. I wanted to start read alouds again (especially finishing a series for once). Gone are the days of moving on to another topic so we can squeeze everything in by the end of the year.
The difference now is the girls have more say in what we play or read. It’s coming together as a family and truly listing to each others wants. Maybe Miss Sky doesn’t want to read right now but she understands other people in the family really miss story time, so she compromises and helps make suggestions in what she’d be okay with.
We “all” came to the conclusion to read the rest of the Magic Tree House series. They also expressed their feelings of not “having” to draw a picture and write about each book unless they want to, something I am okay compromising with.
Instead of going to the library to find books to help fill in each topic, we will go only when one of the girls take an interest in something and “want ” to study it in more depth. They know visits to library are available whenever they want and can add it to the list. So this week we started reading The Knight at Dawn.
A wonderful resource I found for me to help get those interest juices flowing is Click Schooling a free Ezine created by Diane Flynn Keith delivered to you daily with a different topic (and the archives are awesome). For instance Monday is math(fits perfectly with our math Mondays :)) This week is a website where you can create your own mathlibs. Not something Miss Sky would have chosen herself but I “asked” if she “wanted” to try it together and she did. She even admitted to enjoying it.
Another resource Miss Sky enjoys is Science in the News. Each month you get a new topic related to what’s happening in the world today(in a more child friendly way). Past issues include the oil spill and the ending of the space program. This month is all about baseball. A topic that triggered a wonderful family conversation of who their all time favorite baseball player is and why and a visit to our local stadium being added to the list. (This weeks family movie also happens to be The Pride of the Yankees ;)).
Little Sis still loves starfall and we watched the next episodes of Mr.K and how Mr. K shares his sound with Mr.C. Even though this show is dated (hello it’s how I learned my letters), how they explained which of these letters to use when was pure genius.
(Yes she asks to do workbooks.)
Wishing everyone a great day!!