UnSchool Examples on Monday

When we learn at home – we have the luxury of using all of the tools in our home – and customize it to one child – or all of our children. We do not totally UN school – as in Not School or Not Learn or Not Teach – we just Un- School things – take the "school" out of it – the hours of memory at a desk, endless workbooks, class time. When we are in our home – we are learning all the time. It may not be a lofty academic goal – like learning all the Star Wars characters or learning how to program the new remote for the TV, or how to get rid of viruses after installing a new online game – which all happened this morning . . .

Sometimes – un-schooling – happens around disciplined topics. The State of Oregon wants us to test each year and be accountable for the results of these tests on certain years. The main topics of these tests are Math and English. So – we have learned that it is easier to swallow a daily chunk, than to cram for the test the month before. Also – The Lord would like us to hide His Word in our hearts – and that too, I feel should be swallowed each day – so that it is there in the belly when needed for encouragement and training and instruction. So – several days a week we start our day with academics – Awana for Bible, Saxon/Miquon for Math and ACE for English.

So how do you take the "school" out of these topics? We use the tools of our house – throughout the day. This morning Gater and I looked through section 7 of Bk 1 together for Awana. We read through the entire section together, working on any of the sections to get them ready for the week. We reviewed each verse – then found the verse on his Awana CD. A quick sync on Microsoft Media Player to his Sony PSP and he now has a play list of all of the verses in song and the books of the bible to review. We listened to these for a bit while cleaning up the house. Next came Saxon lesson 75 of 6/5. The new concept was to talk about Improper and Proper Fractions. Bor-ring! They had 3 pages of review of what each one was and how to deal with them to convert them to a whole number or a mixed number. Off to the kitchen to re-plenish a much needed cup of coffee. (see School teachers can’t bail to the lounge every time they get overwhelmed). In the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher – (I’m distracted easily) a plan formulates. (get it formula? Sorry) I wrote down the practice sets of improper fractions on the white board before getting my coffee and asked Gater to bring it into the kitchen. We looked for mugs or glasses that would hold a full cup to the brim. It took a while. Next, I took out the 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 measuring cups. I asked him how many of the 1/2’s it would take to fill the cup – and he looked at me like I was a moron – (note to principal) – but he is obedient and into the experiment by now and did the water transfer from the 1/2 cup to the one cup. 2 of the 1/2’s fill the cup mom. (note sarcasm in voice). so 2/2’s equal 1? Yep. We did this through the 25 or so questions they wanted to practice with – but only 2 of them did we do with actual water. But he could see that 3/3 does not equal 3 but rather 1. I had issues with this in school. By the time my single serve coffee was done, we had completed the task, that done school style may have taken an hour in the classroom with cold coffee. Next time – I’ll look at his lesson ahead of time and re-write a brownie recipe with improper fractions and have warm brownies at the end. (quit laughing – I might plan ahead – some day . . .)

Gater isn’t too pleased to learn that our 20 seconds in the kitchen was not his whole lesson – he still has the discipline training of working on the questions beside me with the white board while I type this little post and sip my hot coffee

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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