Wednesday, September 07, 2011

It's that time of year again!

LOL, it's that time of year again: the weather is cooling, parents all over Facebook are posting their back to school pictures, homeschoolers start planning out the year, and I decide to give blogging one more try. We'll see how long I last. Last fall, I think I only made it one whole post before giving up.

But really, last year was a whirlwind. I had a 4-yr old and a 2-yr old... that's enough to do anyone in. I had too many classes and 4-H projects with the older two - we seriously had something going EVERY day of the week. Craziness. And I took up roller derby. I had actually taken it up in April or May of the previous "school year" but finally made the team in September which meant three practices a week and lots of weekend commitments.

Of course this year, I'm still doing roller derby and I'm an officer in the league (but hopefully only until December!). We're still in 4-H and I actually have THREE of them in it this year (but that should make it easier with more kids involved and fewer running rampant around the 4-H center) and somehow I ended up co-leader of our club... still not quite sure how that happened, lol. But this year, we seem to have three days "mostly" free and instead of a 4-yr old and a 2-yr old, I have a 5-yr old and a 3-yr old (next week) and I'm finding more and more moments of sanity and rationality in the two of them. (Oh boy, they are thick as thieves though and don't necessarily use their powers for good!) So, I have hopes and dreams of being more organized and in control and purposeful in our schooling, rather than haphazardly taking what we can get. Actually, with this leader thing going on I HAVE TO BE more organized and in control. These blogger mind-dumps usually help a lot with that, so here I am.

Anyway... today a friend posted a favorite article on Facebook about what kids should really be learning in the preschool years: things like knowing they are unconditionally loved and that there is magic in the world. And there was also a link for the World Book list of what a child should know for each grade. Guess what I zeroed in on? LOL.

Turns out though that we're not doing too badly (if you ignore language arts). Linus is actually pretty much ready to graduate preschool at two-and-fifty-one-fifty-seconds... except for the Social-Emotional Development sections. He is only three-ish, so maybe I'll cut him a little slack. ;) I noticed in the Kindergarten Social Studies section that it said Greyson should be "understanding and appreciating different cultures" so I pulled out our Children Like Me book, intending to read a couple pages with him. We read the w.h.o.l.e. book. A couple times he asked how long it was and how much more was left, and once he even said that he was done after this page, but then when I tried to close it he wanted to go on. (And when I say "read" I mean that we went over each page and talked about the things that interested him, not reading all the words per se.)

It was pretty awesome. He's really into wanting to learn right now. Not too long ago, he was balking anytime I suggested he do something or look at something. Now, he may not be 100% on board (like he had this really dubious expression when I said that I wanted to read this book with him), but he gives it a shot and will let himself be pulled into something that wasn't necessarily his idea.

And then there's the stuff that is his idea! Earlier we had been reading books and we took a lunch break from reading and he pulled out this dry erase activity board we have and started playing "tic tac toe" with Linus - except they weren't using just X's and O's, they were using lots of letters! So cute. Grey even ended up writing ZOO and then recognized it! And then that led, even later, to him asking how to spell a million different things and then trying to copy them. Did I ask him to do this?? No way. Would he had done it if I had?? No way.

P.S. The red letters are Greyson's and the green are Linus'.

Unschooling rocks. Just sayin'

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