Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More homeschooling thoughts

So there is canned curriculum and then there are unschoolers and then there are little people who don't HAVE to have a formal curriculum. I have favorite canned curriculum and favorite flop around the house and call it school activities.

My favorite days I think have been the flopping around the house days. I have too much money invested in educational games. We never seem to get to them because I have money invested in curriculum too and I am brainwashed into thinking if I don't do the curriculum every day we will never get everything done. But.......I do see my kids and other people's kids respond with far more enthusiasm to the games then to their curriculum. We have fun too. Should I do that every day? Probably not. But, should I perhaps sometimes put the fun stuff before the formal stuff? Yes.

We have been playing math games this week. I can't remember the name of the one but for the younger set, they really enjoyed "Granny Apples". It involves fast figuring, is cute, and the kids really enjoyed it. Their brains were going clickety clack and one of them realized he needed to work harder on his math facts. They also loved "Shut the Box" which I found at Barnes and Nobles. Critical thinking fun. I like it.

My favorite history canned curriculum is still Sonlight. It isn't working great this year but the kids have definately thrived on it in the past. My boys especially liked it and kept me on task from day to day. I didn't have to plan or figure out anything.

Other years, with young kids, I have done history and geography by going to the library and start with the Roman times and just check out a bunch of kids non-fiction books on the subject and just sort of leave them in the read-aloud area. Those who could read would just pick them up and read them. My dh would also pick up these books and he learned a whole bunch of stuff he didn't know about too! That was a nice set up. I think I am going to go back to doing that sort of thing. I think the trick is somehow lighting the fire and have an environment of reading.
Oh, after the Romans I would move on into the next time period. That is how that works. I am sure that is not news to everyone but it is cheap as long as you remember what books you have.

We are currently using Rod and Staff's grammar with all kids. I would have to consult my teaching partner to see how that is going. I think it goes over skills and structure and is not just a simplistic one day chat about nouns etc. It seems to be working.

At any rate, I am constantly thinking of ways to make school more fun. I think the flexibility is there to just let the kids go with the flow. Stay tuned for more thoughts.......


Laura said...

Tag! You're it!

Sandra said...

Thinking of games, we have a couple of higher level logic games that the older ones might get into. There's WFF'n'Proof. Have you heard of that? I've figured it out through about level 5 (of 30), so I could play it with the teens sometime to get them started.