Thursday, December 15, 2011

Back to the fun bits


Things were getting pretty grim here in our home school. We didn't have much time, it seemed, so the time we did have went to math workbooks and phonics work, and blah blah blah.

It happens, when we get stressed out. We get anxiety-driven, and worried about results, and we lose sight of values and the picture that is bigger than results. The qualitative data gets lost in the quantitative data, in other words.

I realized we needed to be re-inspired, and what better place to go for inspiration than to the classics that have served us well in the past. We are going back to Stories, to Art, to Experiential Learning, and to Exploring the World. I created a weekly schedule: nothing too tight and strict, but just an easy block schedule with a couple subjects a day.

Picture books are the new core of Hypatia's work. Picture books and art. It's Kindergarten, for goodness sake. It should be about story and song and art and learning to love learning. I ordered volume two of Five in a Row, and StoryBook Art, and I let her pick out a Jumbo Kindergarten Workbook with stickers and colorful pages that appealed to her. She is so happy to have fun picture books and it just feels perfect to make this the center of her schooling.

The things both kids will still do together are nature study, science, and geography. I've bought Drawn to Nature, and the Nature Connection, and I bought a nice tin with drawing pencils and little journals for the kids at the local art store. That has all been a huge hit.

Science is easy, and is just a matter of doing experiments. The kids LOVE doing experiments. I just have to make time for it.

Geography is also pretty easy, mostly involving library books, a globe, and imaginary travels around the world.

For Carbon I'm returning to The Story of the World. He's also still doing Math U See, and Explode the Code, and we're adding in some creative writing. As an early Christmas gift, his grandpa sent us a set of Rory's Story Cubes. Those are fun!

This has been a good turn of events for me and the kids. The kids are responding really well to this, and it's more fun for me too.

What is important to me? What is important to them? Focusing on our values and the life we really hope to have, and not letting anxiety drive our lives, is what I'm trying to do.

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