Week 1: November 18-24, 2013
Our first week was definitely an eventful week. I didn’t really know what to expect this week since I had aspirations of De-schooling the children. This is sort of a Re-boot, or a Re-programming, if you will. I had read from several resources including A2Zhomeschooling, that the De-schooling process could take weeks or months depending on how long your children had been in a brick and mortar school.
My plan for the week was to watch the boys and document their interest. We did a lot of reading, a lot of explorations, and we talked at great length about what “school” was and what it’s purpose was.
The teacher/planner in me had a very hard time letting go of the control I wanted. I wanted to say things like “today we will learn about” or “Today’s math lesson is “. The first few days, I had to stop myself many times from saying “get to work”, “this is school time”, or “we aren’t learning about that Right Now!”
As the week progressed, I found myself using phrases like “What would you like to learn now?” and “What do you need to learn to be able to do that?”
As a teacher I have always believed in letting the children guide their learning, but with a large class, testing, and the constraints of a curriculum… I wasn’t ever sure how to truly let go and trust the students. I knew I wanted to be a guide or facilitator, but again I wasn’t sure exactly how to do that and ended up teaching more whole-group lessons that I care to admit.
I can’t say the transformation around here was a magical one or that it was an easy… but I can see that I saw progress.
I saw the family being challenged to think out of the box.Our whole family is being challenged in the way we view “school”… the children, myself, and our extended family.
Inspiration/ Researched Blogs
(left to right, top to bottom)
- Reggio Inspired Nature Invitations by I am Inspired By Reggio
- Nature Sensory Board from Fun at Home
- 50 Autumn Activities from Imagination Tree
- Leaf Turkeys from Mamas Like Me
- Thankful Turkey from Dirt and Boogers
Both boys really wanted to work on Thanksgiving/Turkey crafts which are not my strength. We also find it ironic that my Vegetarian children want to make Thanksgiving Turkeys.
I thought this was were we would have the biggest struggle. However, our biggest problem is that we have TOO MANY PROJECT ideas and we aren’t “completing” any of them.
We made a deal that we would only work on our current projects and add any new ideas to a list in the hall, so we don’t forget about what we were interested in when it is time to revisit the next project.
Our Current Projects:
- Tittle The Turkey (Legoman)
- Hats, Hats, Hats (Bones)
- Deck of Cards (both boys)
At the start of the week, I asked both boys to pick a book they wanted to read but couldn’t for one reason or another. Then I had the boys preview the books and find reasons they couldn’t read the book independently. This allowed each of us to see what needed to be learned in order to read the book of their choice.
I helped the boys develop word study activities surrounding the words that were difficult for them.
I made writing and word work for those words.
Books We Read
- Go Dog.Go!
- How things Don’t Work
- Amelia Bedelia
- DC Superfriends
Books For Projects:
- Who’s Hat?
- Folk Costumes from Around the World
Independent Reading (books the boys chose and read alone)
- Zita the Spacegirl (one and two)
- The Flying Beaver Brothers
Adventures/ Unexpected Learning
One of the great benefits to homeschooling is that you learn from life. You are able to enjoy the little things and begin to find learning opportunities everywhere.
This week my favorite learning experiences came from:
Cooking with the Children
Independent/Self Help Learned through Clean-up
Thrift Store Finds
I plan to write a post on each of the above topics since we had so much fun from each of them.
I would like to say that we made it through our first week without anyone getting hurt…
Unfortunately, the week ended with a bang! We got to take a trip to the emergency room after Legoman got hit in the face with the trunk of the car.
Everyone is okay and doing fine, but it was definitely a scary moment and an adventurous experience.
Plans for next Week
With Thanksgiving this week, the boys are only here Monday and Tuesday.
We plan to work on the card project, visit the zoo, and do some fun reading.
My Favorite Post from this week: