I had an “aha!” moment today. I had slacked off my documenting for the past 2 weeks so in an attempt at catching up before I forgot what the heck we had done I took some time to think back to what we had covered and how. A few moments of reminiscing left me thinking this:
This was certainly not part of the plan but the more I go with the flow, the more that what we do looks like unschooling. We are not 100% unschooling but as I take the path of least resistance with the boys we end up having a child led, parent supervised learning process rather than a parent led instructional model. We still have set schooling hours, but the topic and resources will vary per day.
Are we having an interest in African animals today? Let’s watch a Wild Kratts episode, talk about the animals that we saw at Lion Country Safari, read a book about lions, practice spelling and writing animal names, practice math by counting and subtracting animals and even do activities in the activity book that the kids got with their kid’s meal at the Lion Country Safari Restaurant.
The fact that I download and save practically any freebie that looks like it has a remote chance of being used at any point within the next few years has come in very handy for this because a simple search on my computer often yields printable worksheets, unit studies and other resources on the topic du jour so I don’t have to spend much time researching at the last minute.
The awesome website Educents has been very useful for this, I got a $10 credit for signing up which I used to get a 1 year membership to a worksheets website (remember that Shammy is worksheet obsessed) and a 3 month membership to an ELA website. My out of pocket cost? $0!!! They often have freebies and heavily discounted resources that are a great value and I was blown away by the quality of their customer service. I strongly recommend them so check them out!
Will we continue on this unschooling path? Only time will tell.
There is a good chance that we may continue with this flexibility for the rest of pre-K and Kindergarten but once 1st grade starts and I actually have to worry about compliance with state homeschooling laws I may feel better having a more structured approach to ensure that there are no gaps in what they are “expected” to know by the end of the year. Who knows, maybe by then I would have gotten good enough at combining the two and it won’t be a problem.