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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

School, or not...

There was a recent interview on Good Morning America with a "Radical Unschooling" family. Rather then following a curriculum, or schedule, they have student led learning. After watching the interview, I would definitely say they qualify for "radical". However, I have always considered myself more of an unschooler than a homeschooler.
Rather then pick out exactly what we want to learn each year, we sort of just play it by ear. I do have Andy, who was raised by a public school teacher. A very talented, but structured, one. And he is military too. He doesn't do well with lack of structure! So there has to be some middle ground.
We tried to do a 1st grade history book this year. We got bored. So, Canaan picked points in history that held his attention, and we did an in depth study of them.
We started a 1st grade reading program. Once again, way too much repetition. So, we picked out easy reader books in the subjects we were studying anyway, and he got his reading practice that way. His spelling words came from whatever subject we were studying, and the handwriting the same way.
We studied space, because it fascinated him.
Medieval times, Knights, construction of castles, and why the middle ages ended.
Immigration, and how our country is made up of all different cultures, in one giant "melting pot".
The library is our friend!
He learned to tell time, and the basics of fractions, and multiplication, just because he wanted to - not because a book said we should.
He had to learn the parts of speech. Nouns and verbs. Proper use of punctuation. Those are things that just have to be taught, usually with a workbook.
But, history and social studies, geography and science, art, and at his age, even math - well, we have had so much fun just playing with them. Soaking them up.
Andy has even gotten involved in the hands on part. After burning dead branches in the yard on monday, I decided to talk about the three "ingredients" needed for fire. Andy just turned on the stove and stuck a piece of paper on the burner- Started a fire. Stuck it in a pot with the lid on tight - put it out. Taught him everything he needed to know right there. Fuel, heat, oxygen. We have continued talking about different kinds of fuel, and sources of heat, but that lesson has stuck with him. Seeing something burning in the kitchen, right there in daddy's hand - that is education!
Here are a few pictures of our study of Sea Life. We made "claydough", molded it, baked it and painted it.

Don't you know the most important part is making a mess?

Hard working boys!

A group shot of our designs. Several of Zion's were, according to him, "boulders".
Twin sharks - one by mommy, one by Canaan.

Canaan's octopus.

Zion's turtle.

Today we went to the library and picked out about 30 books on Ancient Egypt, Mummies, and Archeology. Looks like the summer is going to be fun!

Let me leave you with this quote...

delicate little plant in need of freedom. Einstein quote at DailyLearners.com


autumnesf said...

Loved homeschooling for exactly this reason. You guys should do the mummy chicken experiment this summer with that list of books. It's gross but fun. We had to nix it as we were living in an apartment and if it went wrong there would have been a rather nasty smell! LOL!

I did always check out those books on what a ___ grader should know to help me find holes I needed to fill. I have noticed that some pretty basic info can get skipped over because we are so busy doing much deeper things.

I'm finding that Ohio is a very homeschool friendly state. The base just had a fair for homeschoolers. They are a state that will provide a curr. for you and even computers, etc. Much better than some of the other states I dealt with.

(I always keep my ear to the ground because you never know when you might need to pull your kids out of a bad situation. Learned that the hard way!)

So keep those hs posts coming! I love reading them...makes me miss the days when we did this. (Except high school - Bones was put in an online school for that where I did a percentage of the grading and work but most of it was student/school driven and I was not nearly as involved. I think this was important for HIM and being ready to move on to college. Just glad I was willing to go that direction and follow what he needed vs. what I thought! LOL!

Carrie said...

Fun! I am glad unschooling gets plenty of attention and credit because it ensures that all the rest of us will probably be okay too! lol.

Tricia said...

Well said. And the proof that this kind of teaching works is in the successful young adults it produces. :)

Karen said...

Your children are blessed....

Mandi said...

After reading this post, it gets me so excited about eventually teaching Landon using creative, hands-on methods. You're a good mom. What's funny is that I remember participating in learning that way with YOU... only you weren't the teacher then. :-)

Anonymous said...

LOVE the quote... it's the basis of homeschooling (well besides God telling us to) I especially love the octopus and turtle and Bethany you did good on your shark... thanks for doing such a great job with my grandsons, I love you all!!! nani

Marcy said...


I love hearing about your school stuff. It sounds like your children enjoy learning. I never really did until I was much older. I appreciate your sharing!