Monday, February 23, 2009

A Day in the Life...

I love being asked if we have begun homeschooling yet. It always implies that there is a specific period of time each day during which we learn, as if learning can only happen if an adult is dedicated to the task of making it happen. If that were the case, then today has so far been mostly wasted!!

Holly has practised a variety of skills already today, and none of it was directed by me. She woke up a little later than usual (we're all a little tired from spending the weekend visiting my mother) and so she missed the show on TV that she usually counts on watching as she drinks her orange juice and gets ready to greet the day. She handled her disappointment with all the courage she could muster and decided she would rather read some books anyway. Literacy. Done.

While reading, she was reminded of a particular DVD that she'd like to watch later, so she sorted and organized approximately 50 DVDs. She had to look at the back of each DVD to find the one she wanted, and she made piles of the rest based on theme. More literacy. Patterning and sorting are mathematical skills. Done.

By that time Anna was done watching TV, so she and Holly both went to the table to play with Polly Pockets. (As an aside, I must acknowledge that I am not very thrilled with the Polly Pocket dolls which the girls received as a gift. The dolls have the unrealistic tiny waists and perky busts of Barbie dolls, and the clothing they come with is decidedly not my taste.) Extraordinary fine motor skills are required to dress and undress these dolls, and Holly did a remarkable job. Then she piled them into a small plastic bowl and announced that they were flying to the moon in a rocket ship. Then Anna assisted in finding all the Polly Pocket pets, and they organized a pet show and had all the dolls take their pets for a walk. Cooperative play. Imaginative play. Done.

Next the girls were hungry. Breakfast was provided by mommy with no assistants.

Bellies full, out came the markers and paper. Holly took her art supplies to the table so that Jasmine would not get into them. In addition to colouring in a colouring book, she also drew a few pictures and signed her name to each. One of the pictures was a map with a river and a mountain on it. Pretty sophisticated. All the while, she kept up a conversation with Anna about her 'kids' and how her kids' dad has to go to work so they can 'have money to buy stuff.' Art. Social Studies. Done.

So it's not even lunch time yet, and Holly has completed a good assortment of learning activities, and none of what she has completed has been directed by me. Later today we'll go for a walk while our bread is rising, so those activities will involve my guidance. Science. Outdoor Recreation. Done.

I love that homeschooling does not look like school-at-home. No leveled readers. No worksheets and notebooks. No evaluation and assessment. No tight schedule. Just freedom and lots and lots of learning.

(Holly is now laying on the coffee table singing her heart out. Music. Done.)

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