Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Day of Hippy Home Education

We don't fall under one category of home education. I have a gr1 curriculum book, that Bug does work out of. I use it to keep me on track with the concepts she should be able to understand, though the majority of the time Bug chooses when to work out of this book herself (it is almost complete). We believe in child-lead education. They ask "Why does _____ happen? or "That Lion is so cool! Can we look up lions on the National Geographic site?" We go with whatever they are curious about. The Lion question lead to an entire unit on African Savanna Animals. I love Montessori concepts, and we have many games and puzzles. We love to incorporate life skills as well. We are what you would call "eclectic" home educators. Mostly though, we just let them play :) Here's a taste of a day in our home.
Folding towels= Co-operation, life skills, hand-eye
coordination and a sense of accomplishment. Just don't expect them to be perfect right away. The kids do get better with practise.
Washing dishes, each with their own jobs, and needing to follow several steps. Being able to work both independently to achieve the same goal is an indispensable skill. Plus, it takes a chunk out of the amount of dishes Scott and I have to do. (They LOVE dish washing, They cheer when I tell them it's time to do the dishes).
Sorting Laundry (sorting, life skills and coordination) and hanging up their own clothes. They take better care of their clothes now that they are the ones that put them away.
The African game we made up to review what we had learned during our African Animals unit.
(Reading, counting, teamwork, strategy, addition, multiplication, problem solving, geography)
Cuddling is a big part of our educating process.
If anyone is curious, how they learn to read and print without me sitting them down and teaching them. My short answer is: I have no clue. They just do. The slightly longer answer is, complete a task many times in front of them, when they ask a question about it: answer it and only it , don't go into major detail. For example: "What sound does that letter make mommy?" Mommy: "it makes a SSSS sound like a snake" Have alphabet puzzles, games and tracing mats available for them to play with at their own leisure. That's it. When a child chooses what they want to learn, when they want to learn it, they will. If you don't believe me the boy pictured above is my 4 yrold. He printed this completely on his own, by sounding out the words without prompting or help from any of us. I just walked into the living room and there it was with him and his big grin "Look what I did mommy!"
Music is a huge part of our day. Their step dad is a musician and practises regularly, which leads to the whole family joining in with drums, keyboard and voices. This is coupled with Music for Young Children classes (which are AWESOME).
One of my favourite things is reading to them.
So, that's how it works in my family, for now. Observe and adapt, don't get too attached to one way of doing things and know when to ask for assistance. That's my advise, I find it applies to every aspect of my life.