Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Experimental Unschooling Day 3

Ahh, a much more enjoyable day, I think!
None of the boys put up any resistance to the nintendo ban today - I think they were all a bit in awe of how much time they had spent playing on it yesterday.  I still haven't asked them to do anything though - just to see what they want to do if left to their own devices.  The only time I got involved was when DS1 & 2 wanted to do the same thing (trampoline - the net has only just arrived & not ben put up yet, so it's still strictly 'one-at-a-time') and I made an alternative suggestion (reminding DS2 that he said he wanted to do Reading Eggs) which was immediately agreed to :)
Anyway, they've been much more creatively employed today - there was the inevitable Reading Eggs for DS3, plus he watched some more 'Diego', and made sitcker pictures, DS2 spent ages building a railway track on GridClub with DS1 helping at times - and had his own time on Reading Eggs as mentioned above.  DS1 decided he wanted to play pass-the-parcel, so wrapped up some of his own sweets, recorded some music from a toy guitar, and roped everyone in to play (without much resistance, it has to be said!)  Then later he had his nose in his science exeriment book, planning what he wanted to do for the next couple of weeks (have just ordered some mirrored card so he can build a periscope), and experimented with bicarbonate of soda mixed alternately with honey, oil and lemon juice (don't read further inside these brackets unless you have boys yourself or are not easily grossed out...he helpfully suggested that if we ran out of lemon juice we would wait until one of his brothers was sick and use that instead to get the same result as both contain acid, but did concede Mummy's point that apart from hoping nobody would be sick for a long time, foamy vomit might not be the nicest thing to have around!... sorry, but, I did warn you!)
Anyway, the sun was out all day (!!!) so there was lots of trampoline-bouncing all round as well - hooray!  Lots of free-play also: most notably when I gave them the empty box that the trampoline surround had come in, and the first game that came to their minds was 'coffins' (it was the perfect size for DS3 to lay in - DS2 & 3 had to squeeze a bit). 'Coffins' led to 'zombies', and then thankfully for me it turned into a fishing boat game ;).  Hmm - such is life with boys ;)
So, amidst the vomit conversations and coffin-zombie games, what have I learned today?  Well, as Sally commented on yesterday's post, I have realised that my boys and I are really benefitting from a period to detox from school (aka de-schooling).  The school-type structure is probably more in my head than theirs, and I'm finding this week really helpful to step back and think about ways to help them learn best, outside the 'box' of traditional learning.  Also I am becoming more confident in my belief that a little bit of structure is a helpful thing - or will be once we've de-schooled.  I don't know if we will resume use of the star chart, but I do know I am most drawn to the style of Home Ed where the children are expected to do a certain amount of  'academic'-type learning, but with as much freedom of choice within that as possible.  So for example in our case that could be as simple as a set amount of English/ Maths per day/ week, and within that, letting them choose on a daily basis between computer-based curricula such as Maths-Whizz or Reading Eggs, or a workbook, or just writing their own story/ making a graph etc.  Outside of that, I would like to think they'll have as much freedom as they need to explore whatever else interests them (I like playing different sorts of music at times, and leaving fascinating books around such as this Science Experiments book or this 365 Things to Make and do book, to spark their interest).  It feels like I'm coming full-circle to where I started, really - but I have to admit, it's still very early days :)

No comments:

Post a Comment