7.24.2013

Homeschool Progress Report: Week 4

 

 We are four weeks into our school year, and things are going great! We've settled into a routine that works for us...as long as it doesn't change. I found that Mason is definitely the opposite of me in many aspects; I learn (and teach) best at night, and he is such a morning learner. Any schooling that takes place after about 4pm usually results zero attention, and lots of frustration. That is, unless it's in the form of a movie, playing, or art. He's open to that kind of learning any time. :)

I've also begun to realize why so many homeschoolers promote child-lead learning. I'm not sold on complete child-lead schooling, but I have realized that Mason learns best when he's interested in the subject. I've always known this, but it never clicked until now. There have been many times when an activity I thought he would love, was received with a less-than happy response (seriously, who isn't interested in astronomy? Mason, I guess). But he has been studying books on trains and horses on his own for months, now, and has so many facts and scientific knowledge memorized because of that studying. He takes his trains apart, and puts different pieces together to see what they look like. And he's been sneaking into the kitchen for years, and creating his own disgusting interesting recipes for food.

As a result, I have changed a lot of my plans for this year. Things I thought were important, are things I don't stress so much anymore. Formal math lessons have been shortened, and I added a weekly cooking lesson, and let him pick a meal for dinner each Friday. We budget and shop for the ingredients beforehand, and then make the meal. Math and life skills, all in one lesson! As for other areas, I finally bought the special paint for model trains he's been wanting, and he has repainted a bunch of his trains. Formal art lessons have been added, since he's so interested in art. And I'm currently planning a unit on horses, because he would love it.


Sadly, my history lessons have changed, since he's not that interested in history right now (I LOVE history, and hoped he would, too). We're going through history chronologically, so right now we're mostly reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, and then reading books on some of the countries or cities the prophets are in as we read. Although I'm really hoping he'll be more interested by the time we learn about Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome...I have such cool ideas for those two, but he may just think they're boring. :D


The biggest and coolest change this year, has been our weekly forest school. A woman in a homeschool group I belong to brought up the idea to start one here, since they're so popular in Washington and Oregon. But hers was too far for us, so I thought I would see if anyone in my area wanted to get together and start our own. It is nowhere near the scale of the forest schools in Washington and Oregon, but it has been so fun! We begin with a short nature-related activity. We've done solar wood burning, flower pressing, bug catching, bark rubbings, treasure hunting, and lots of others.


After the activity, the kids are free to play and explore nature. Our park is so perfect for this, with lots of trees, hiking trails, hills, a huge grass lawn, a small river, and even a bridge. There is so much for the kids to explore, and they always find interesting things; a water snake, mice digging holes, bugs, cool flowers, etc.. There are kids of all ages, and some go off to explore while some stay to play in the water or do the activity again. But everyone plays with everyone (older and younger), which I think is cool. It's the only time I let Mason really do his own thing, and he loves the freedom. He always leaves with wet, muddy clothes. It has been the highlight of our summer.


One thing that is very apparent this year, is that Mason isn't the only one learning. I'm learning, too. There is so much that I either didn't learn in school, or that I forgot.  I've found I have gaps in my knowledge of topics that I thought I knew well. I'm also finding interest in subjects that I thought I hated (like math).  Interesting things that send me on a quest for even more knowledge. I'm teaching myself, as I teach Mason. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens over the rest of the year!

4 comments:

  1. Awesome! He looks so happy, you're such a great mommy! I love that forest group idea!! Love ya cuz!

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  2. That is so awesome! I'm glad you are doing so well. We haven't started officially yet, but it's going to be a great year! I still have that big box of books for you!

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  3. How fun! I'm glad he's loving school!

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  4. I wish I knew about the forest school sooner. Looks like it was so much fun! I'm glad I caught up for stargazing. It opened up my son's eyes at least (who didn't want anything to do with that).

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