Unschooling log - January 2018
Welcome to our first unschooling log! We hope you enjoy an insight into our educational journey with this fun question, answer and photo collection. We will be adding a new instalment each month. Enjoy! This blog post includes some affiliate links but all recommendations are our own personal views. We would never endorse anything we wouldn't use ourselves. Click on images to take you to the relevant product page.
What did the kids learn that I didn’t teach them?
Pops taught herself how to make a working vending machine and some durable makeup bags and pencil cases. She also learnt how to assemble a model of the inside of our bodies correctly.
Fin learnt what 4+4 was by using his fingers and then told everyone he met that 4+4 was 8. He also taught himself how to write Poppy’s name and how to draw robots.
What did the kids teach me that I didn’t already know?
Pops taught me that the call of the American howler monkey can be heard 3 miles away.
Fin taught me that the planet Venus spins in the opposite direction to Earth. (Who knew?)
What would I have missed most if they were at school?
I would have missed the moment when Pops comforted Fin when he was upset. Fin was getting really frustrated that his train track kept on breaking and Pops swooped in to teach him how to fix it and then held him in a cuddle and in a cheery voice said “Everything is fine now Fin” and held him until his upset passed. I melted. Pops is so motherly and caring with Fin. Fin would have been 6 months old when Pops was due to start school and I know they wouldn’t be this close if they weren’t home educated.
The thing I would have missed if Fin was at school/nursery would have been seeing him read his first few words. This week he has started learning his first few sight words and connecting his letter sounds and is reading several new words. Proud mummy.
What was the most exciting bit of learning this month?
I think we all agree that it was our few days on the beach. We had the chance to collect sea glass, meet lots of friendly dogs, splash in the sea, build sandcastles, find unusual sea shells and Crustaceans, stay in a hotel, eat out at restaurants and explore a part of the world we had never been too. That is one of the joys of home education. The freedom to explore any day of the year.
What was one of the hardest moments of unschooling this month?
I think we have struggled with the sleep balance this month. Both the kids seemed to have got into a strong question faze around bedtime. We will always read before bed but at the moment we are reading a set of fact-based books which has really set their minds up for more questions. They are so alert and animated at that point that you indulge their curiosity by answering the questions and supporting that with YouTube videos or other research items and before you know it bedtime has slipped by. Ooops!
What was their favourite day out this month?
Well, apart from the beach it was a unanimous vote for the museum. Both of the kids loved looking at the toys and clothes used throughout history. Pops wants to explore this further. Fin loved all of the art in the gallery and declared he too was going to paint as soon as he got home.
What were the best books you used this month?
We were given these awesome books as a gift. They were sourced from Amazon and they are the kind of books you will keep for life. We've had many late nights sitting and staring in awe at the marvellous pictures. The text will grow with the children as they get older. They are a fantastic visual aid to help engage their learning.
What were the best learning resources you used?
We have stumbled upon a great company called Learning resources, you can find their items on Amazon, eBay or Argos. We have got quite a large collection of their resources now and use them on a daily basis. This month this teddy bear pattern solving set has been a real hit with Fin. There have been several layers of play to this set involving sorting, categorising, counting and role-playing. They are sold as two separate items; the pattern cards and the bear counter set.
What do the kids want to continue learning into next month?
Pops wants to continue her design project. She is designing herself some clothes that she would like to sew herself. (With a little help from mummy.)
Fin is crazy about space at the moment and wants to continue to watch every YouTube video ever made about space if possible.
What new things do the kids want to learn about next month?
Pops wants to learn about gymnastics and yoga.
Fin wants to learn about moles and find out if they really can’t see well.