Unschool Log - February 2018
Hello, again guys! I hope you've all had a fabulous February. We've certainly had a busy one. To follow on from last month, Pops designed herself a dress and with a little help from mummy, we sewed it together. Pops did the buttons herself!
Fin has been true to his word and continued his epic space learning. This is the book he has been reading daily and there is no sign of this passion letting up.
This month has been full of ups and downs (I've been ill, always a challenge when you home educate) but it has meant that we've had the chance to spend lots of lovely quiet time together.
So on to this month's questions...
What did the kids learn that I didn't teach them?
Fin learnt how an umbrella is made by watching his favourite programme 'Do You Know?' - CBeebies Pops learnt how to make a test tube sink by removing all of the air from it. (Lesson in the bath about sinking and floating.)
What did the kids teach me that I didn't already know?
Fin taught me that bouncy castle pictures are hand painted. (Who knew?) Pops taught me all of the colours in Spanish.
What would you have missed most if they went to school?
I would have missed Fin writing like a crazy man this month. He is so confident in his approach to writing. He will just hear a word and grab his book and jot it down. He seems to have so much fun writing these new words. He even attempted the word pomegranate. He spells everything with phonetic sounds at the moment but I am so proud at how he throws himself into it.
Pops has mastered her bike! She has practised on her bike every day and now she is so confident. She had recently fallen off her bike and it made her too fearful to ride but this week she decided enough was enough and got back on the saddle and with sheer determination became a beautiful bike rider again. So proud!
What was the most exciting part of homeschool this month?
I'm not sure it was the most exciting but it was certainly the most eye-opening. We decided to role play a typical school day for the kids. We timetabled the lessons and gave proper lunch boxes and break times and stuck to all of the rules of school. It was exhausting! Our reason for doing this was Pops has been curious for some time what a typical school day was like. She has always been so surprised by how long a typical school day was (she sees the children walk to school and return home from school from our front window) and could not understand what they get up to for that long. I have a feeling she won't be asking to do it again in a hurry somehow. We were all completely worn out by the end of the day and I'm so thankful that my children don't have to go through all of that pressure every day. We covered all of the subjects and various topics but I don't feel that they absorbed any of the information fully, Unlike unschooling when they immerse themselves fully in each topic and enjoy everything that they learn. When I asked them afterwards what their favourite part of the day was they both said lunchtime. It has reinforced to me our reasons for home education and unschooling as it is so much more engaging than just 'being taught' things.
What was the hardest moment this month?
Being ill! I came down with a tummy bug which made just being 'mum' a challenge let alone supporting any learning they were involved in. Thankfully I have a very supportive family who helped look after the kids to prevent me from passing it on to them. After recovering from the tummy bug we all got a cold so all in all it has been a very challenging month filled with lots of movies, books, games and cuddles. Roll on Spring now though, please!
What was the best day out this month?
Their favourite day out this month was a visit to a local library to have a lesson on bookbinding. They both had the chance to bind their own books which they now use for jotting down their thoughts and creative ideas. We then followed this up with a trip to the cinema and a visit to a middle eastern restaurant for some vegan falafel. It was a fun-filled day enjoyed by all.
What books were most used this month?
Fins favourite books at the moment are this series by Pippa Goodheart and Nick Sharratt. I kid you not that he has read these books several times every day this month. I know them word for word now! They are a great set for getting your child to really think about their thoughts and feelings. There are hours of fun in these books.
Pops has been loving this book by Patricia Hegarty. It is all about animal habitats and has beautiful illustrations by Hanako Clulow. Pops loves anything to do with animals so this was a great purchase to support her passions and add a little geography to the mix.
What were the best learning resources used this month?
Ok, the kids (and me) are totally loving the orchard toys games this month. We have quite a collection of them now but we have recently found these ones that have been a hit with the kids.
This is a great fun way for the kids to practice addition and subtraction. The game has a magical theme and they even have to make the answers to the sums magically appear!
Fin is loving the orchard toys spelling game and it has definitely helped with his reading and writing practice.
What are the best youtube videos/Apps used this month?
We have watched a lot of the Free School videos on youtube this month. The favourites have been the solar system (surprise, surprise) and sharks.
What do the kids want to continue learning into next month?
I think its safe to say that we will be continuing space into next month. There seems to be no signs of quenching the passion for this topic. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up fully fledged astronauts by the end of the year! They are concentrating on nebulas at the moment so I imagine that's what we will be focusing on to start with.
What new things are kids keen to learn about next month?
They have both started to show an interest in insects in the garden so I think that may be something to explore with them. Pops has said she is keen to do some more science experiments too.
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