Homeschooling in the spring

I've told you a lot about our adventures with food allergies lately but not so much about our homeschooling adventures. We've been having a lot of fun! So much of it at this point is nature-based, because that's such a natural interest for my children who are 4 and 6 years old. But 'A' has been practicing some math too and after she gets new glasses next week I'm thinking her reading might kick in a bit more (yes... she's as blind as a bat and we'll see just how much she can't see at the doctor's office next week. That could explain why she so strongly rejects learning how to read most days).

We took a trip to Up Yonda Farm in Bolton Landing, the sweetest little Adirondack town. We met up with homeschooling friends and learned about the different types of creatures that live in ponds. The kids all got to use nets to scoop out as many creatures as they could find and put them all in an aquarium tank for observation. This kind of activity is so much fun for kids of all ages (and adults too, if I can be perfectly honest!). Up Yonda has so many programs running and we're all going back a few more times this summer.

After a year of homeschooling, I have come to define myself as an unschooler. For me that means I'm most comfortable going through each day without an agenda, without a curriculum, without an idea of what my children will be learning that day. I prefer to let it unfold for us. Luckily, we have plenty of opportunities throughout the day to let that happen and still learn tons. There are also times when my kids really want to do things so we take time to do them (like yesterday, when 'A' wanted to know how to add big numbers and carry the 1), and times when they don't want to do things, so we don't (like when 'A' does NOT want to learn to read and write more). I follow their lead and trust that it'll all work out in the end.

I've been reading Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Diane Eyer, about how children learn best through play, and I am struck by the chapter about the definition of play. Here is how the authors define play:

:: It is pleasurable and enjoyable (it's fun!)
:: It has no extrinsic goals (the point of playing is not to learn certain skills or facts, the point of playing is to play)
:: It is spontaneous and voluntary
:: It involves active engagement (you have to want to do it, and get involved)
:: It contains an element of make believe

I can't tell you how much of our daily life resembles this description of play. For us, it works. It makes us happy.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!