Week in review

So, our neat schedule of desk work has devolved, as it does.  I swing like a pendulum, between a full, planned curiculum, and marvelling in wonder at my kids’ unschooly goodness.  It might sound fickle, and well, yeah, it is based in part on my own insecurities, but it also actually works: they take what they did in the formal time as fodder for their unschooly days; new ideas from our curriculum run rampant through their play.

And, sometimes, like right now, we are kind of doing half and half.  They need to do their morning ablutions and chores (clearing the table) before we all play with their Webkinz (which is homeschooling in and of itself), and then we start homeschooling at 9 AM, every day of the week.  They pull out their calendars and record a pictograph of the weather (well, ok, Buddy just colors his in, sort of), while I ask them for the date, day of the week, etc, and update our wall card with this information.  They’ve learned the days of the week in just the last two weeks, and are evening using ordinal numbers when they report the date, so I think we’re doing pretty well.

The kids' Webkinz puppy, Butterbolt, checking out the daffodils Daddyman brought me.

Then we move on to vocabulary, if we have any new to cover (related directly to our other work, unschooly or otherwise), where the girls write down 4-5 words a day in their vocabulary books.  This week they’ve had o’clock, morning, afternoon, evening, midnight, AM, PM, noon, midnight, hour, minute and second.  We were going to be learning how to tell time this week, but learning to skip count by fives is taking longer than I had anticipated, so we’ll do it next week, hopefully.

Then, now that we’ve cut out the rest of their written academics for the day (for which I really do insist they sit at a table, so they are learning good physical writing habits), they do either their Explode the Code, or Handwriting without Tears (they are still doing review), or journalling.  (Beara, earlier this week, wrote “APB: [Beara] and Gunny [my stuffed lion] ran to the store to get dog food.”  That food would be for the aforementioned Webkinz, a puppy named Butterbolt.)

Then we take a break, often counting out chocolate chips on our hundreds boards, then dividing them into four equal shares.  We’ve been dividing 60 chips into four piles this week, to learn that a quarter of 60 is 15, so hopefully that will help with telling time next week.  (Note the hope….)

Sometimes we’ll do some cuddle schooling in the late morning, or early afternoon, all climbing into our king sized bed (we cosleep with Buddy, and he’s a bed hog), counting on our abacus (the knitting stitch markers are working perfectly for marking fives, btw), or reading Bob books, or listening to an article or story online, or whatever.  Yesterday we played D&D with Daddyman; 4th Edition is very miniature intensive, which is great for helping the kids visualize what is going on and what they want to do.  We started our first campaign, which, according to DM Daddyman, revolves around rescuing unicorns.  (Note: Playmobile baby unicorns are just about the perfect size to use as mature unicorns with the miniatures.  Just make sure you get the kind with horns, or it kind of defeats the purpose.)

Otherwise, they play.  They make plans for their loveys, or set up their new Playmobile pirate ship or firefighter (my BFF is the queen of the deep discount and spoils them rotten), or make up recipes for fruit salad, or count pieces in one of their games, or learn to use the potty, or write long nonsense lists of things they want to do, or make up songs, or listen to me tune Big D’s new guitar, or play horses with Buddy, or, yeah,
ask me about G-d and sex. 

Big D's new guitar, as yet unnamed, and Lucy, my guitar, named after the Beatle's song "Lucy in the sky with diamonds." I bought her the day after 9/11. I had to do something.

And today we are going bowling with our local homeschool Friday Play group. We haven’t been before, and I *thought* this week was going to meet at the library, but apparently they only do that once a month.  Ergo, bowling.  Far more ‘interesting’ a first outing with them than I had planned, but hey; at least Daddyman is still home and can go with us!  (I will feel much better about taking all three kids somewhere new when I know some of the other parents and kids there better, but the first time?  Oi.)  Wish us luck, and that it doesn’t cost us too much!

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