I didn’t mention my homeschooling goal in my New Year’s Goal post below because I hadn’t quite come up with it. (The chart below isn’t so much of a goal chart as it is a brain, I don’t seem to have one without writing things down.) For the last month and a half, I experimented with a total ‘un-schooling’ approach. Truthfully, I don’t really love the term un-schooling because to those not familiar it seems to say the anti-learning method, whereas more accurately portrayed, it would be the “learning all the time” or the “learning at each child’s readiness and to their aptitudes” method. (Of course to those of this un-schooling camp their title fits perfectly as they see compelled learning as the antithesis of learning.)
In the last of November through December, I had certain service and gifts that I wanted to accomplish but knew I couldn’t do everything, so I planned a homeschooling break, and also gave the children plenty of time to finish all their gifts. It was really rewarding as they gave these gifts to the family who visited out here and I heard the family living far away also really loved their gifts.
It was interesting to see the learning that occurred. Milly wrote stories in her book to George, and Rawl finished drawings he had left un-done. They were all busy crafting and such. Near the end of the month, they all busted out their picture drawing and writing, they couldn’t depart from more active learning with out feeling unsettled. My husband couldn’t take having no math taught and began doing lessons with the children at night. This was really cool for me to see and hope we go forward with his great in-put into our homeschool. One undesired side effect I didn’t like is it seemed my oldest coughed up some attitude with that much autonomy, and so for me atleast, I see a balance needed for our family.
However, I wouldn’t say what we did, forecasts what many un-schooling moms do, still. They help guide and facilitate their child’s dreams and talents. Great un-schooling moms, the way I see it, see their children’s potential and what would make them happy, and they do their best to help the child partake as they gently seamlessly lead them there, they stand out of the way as much as possible.
I’ve been impressed with un-schooling friends like my friend Claire from Always Together and Loving it. She has her children share with her their goals, like what games they want to play etc. They know if Mom plans it then it will happen. She wisely purchases games that are great for learning Math and other critical thinking skills. I do like learning from the other good things other moms are doing. (And a thank you to my un-schooling friend Angel from Nourishing Genius who gave me some great reading tips.)
I suppose if lumped into a category I would like to call my self Charlotte Mason. That woman knew and understood learning. She never insulted children with ‘twaddle’, but gave them rich things to chew on. I love how she said that learning tasted better outdoors, and tried to learn new skills in the morning when their minds were fresh. She knew that good habits helped children make smart choices.
In the spirit of Charlotte Mason ideals, I try to steer our household into habits. Good choices are easier to make when one is in the habit of making them. Habits take discipline to form which to me testifies of their worth. So like my chores and cooking, have certain, not set in stone, repetitive rotations and habits, also our learning has some predictability in habits. We have a habit of reading while laundry folding and how fun it was to get back to that yesterday, reading “Five Little Peppers and how they grew” as well as our medieval History book. Unfortunately I am mainly inefficient however and just am working to be more efficient so that more good things can happen, and more good habits can be formed.
I notice each homeschooling mom works on a continuum of where they and their children are at. Each mom may have a model of learning they prefer, but then to some extent or another we all tend to be atleast somewhat eclectic, taking bits and pieces we like from here and there. I’m not yet comfortable with a total ‘un-school’ approach, however I love the un-schooling that happens at our house naturally. And for my wonderful sanity I think summers around here are not going to be catch up time but instead a more relaxed un-school approach, as well as Christmases too. The main course of learning then being service and gift giving, as well as in the summers gardening and outdoor work. For the Christmas season, I really enjoyed the services I did because I wasn’t over the top in other things required of me.
I don’t really know what this semester will look like persay, but I do know that this goal sheet seems fitting for us. Its a little goal chart for Dad to interview children with. With each Christmas comes more resources and I hate to see these resources not get used, crowded out by the crayons and paper that pervade our life. Not that crayons, color pencils and paper are bad, but just that I’d like to see their minds budding in a more well-rounded approach, as well as insure we make the time for these different aspects of their learning.
Well, here is the goal chart for the children. What are your learning goals for this year?
It can seem somewhat depressing that life has so little time to get done all we would want. But let us be happy that we keep trying to teach the most important things, and that some of these other good things get to happen as well!
|Books(How many/ what to read each day, or week)|
|Scholastic Goals(Reading, Math, History, Art)|