OK, I obviously really suck at blogging here lately. I dropped off the song of the week thing, I haven’t posted regularly in forever, and I just don’t even remember I have this blog frankly. I do still blog at my main blog, if anyone’s interested.
Anyway, I still do believe strongly in unschooling, but I’m facing a little reality here…I’m not organized nor consistent enough to do all that I really need to be doing to really have a quality unschooling environment for my children. Its far too easy for me to just get sucked into housework and my own projects and neglect setting up the environment and opportunities for enrichment for my children.
PLUS, I have a husband that just doesn’t get unschooling, nor agree with it. While I do feel that I have more say in this because I am the only parent that has spent ANY time (not to mention HOURS and HOURS and HOURS of time) researching anything education related…so I’m not necessarily of the mindset that he really can say much since he’s not taken the time to read up on anything…I think the one that actually is educated on the subject should have the say (like I wouldn’t ever be the one to decide what video camera we get because I don’t care to research it and HE has the knowledge, so I would defer to him)…HOWEVER, I do respect that he is also equally a parent of these children and I do have to live with him and, hopefully, have a quality relationship with him…So…I do feel it is worthwhile to have some things that are more “schooly” to do during the day so that he can feel better about how things are going. And frankly, I feel better too.
So…all that to say that I have gone back to some of my single subject curriculums that I feel good about. Math and spelling for now, and I’ll add more as we get where I want to be with these. And things seem to be going pretty dang well, I think.
Ok we got off to a rocky start and there were some days of Maeven crying through lessons. Well I should explain that my daughter is prone to crying, so this isn’t really a huge surprise. And she doesn’t react well to change, and going from not having to do structured math for awhile, back to sitting down and having to do some (even though this math is really very hands-on and uses cool props and really is not a big drag to do), shook up her world a little. But she seems to be handling it ok now. And I’m starting to see the value in actually doing math that is really below what she is probably capable of, at least in the beginning like this, because we are whizzing through it pretty easily. She has really very little tolerance for frustration, and I’m trying to just get her into a groove right now so this is a good thing that its pretty simple for her. Every once in awhile there’s a concept that is a little more work for her, but she’s getting it. And we are able to do 2 lessons a day right now because there’s a lot that is so beneath her because she already gets it, so I skip it. Like there are some chapters coming up that are all about telling time and she already knows how to tell time so we’ll be skipping over those.
At this rate, we’ll be done with this book sometime in November and I’ll be able to move her into the next level and have THAT done probably by the end of spring, if all goes well. We got way behind on this, but I am not really concerned about things as far as where the public schoolers deem “at grade level.” I’m just concerned about where *I* think she should be. I was reading the other day that 3rd graders, which is where she would probably be if I had her in school, do multiplication and division. And actually some have been doing it, at least to some degree, since 1st grade. I think this is just ludicrous. Sure some of them may be capable of it, but I am pretty sure we did not learn it that early when I was in school…and I don’t have the problem of being in a hurry and trying to cram stuff in earlier and earlier that the schools do. She’ll learn it soon enough. I want her to first really get addition and subtraction fully. And if that means putting off more complex topics for awhile, then so be it. I would rather she REALLY “gets” the easier stuff before throwing a more complex subject at her. Anyway, I’m not even sure which level book this math curriculum starts them on that. They don’t even do subtraction until the addition is really mastered. I love that.
This math curriculum I use, Right Start Math, is just awesome in doing all sorts of activities that set the kids up to fully understand these concepts. Its just amazing, I wish I had it when I was her age. Would have made a lot of difference in me learning math.
Anyway, so we’re rockin at math…doing 2 lessons a day and I think we could actually sometimes do 3, so I’ll be trying to do just that when I can. We were way off schedule (the schedule I had plotted out for us), but now in just a month we’ll be back on. YAY!