Tag Archives: reading

Unschooling Today 4/24/17

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Today is my Mom’s birthday, The kids woke up excited to celebrate her. After breakfast, the kids got to work on cards for Grandma. Hailey decided to turn her card into a book. She taped paper together and got to work. She wrote the first three pages on her own, trying her best to sound out the words and spell them on her own, and drawing pictures to go with it. Her hand grew tired, so she asked if I could write the rest while she told me what to write. When it was finished, it was a great book with a thoughtful story about a bee celebrating his birthday. My favorite part is when he went to a restaurant and ate pollen pizza pockets.

 

Next it was time to bake a cake. I knew I had the ingredients to bake a chocolate cake, but I had to figure out how to make it vegan and come up with a vegan frosting. My youngest is intolerant to both, and while we hope he grows out of it, we wanted him to enjoy cake today! So we looked up some recipes and got to work. Elijah loves to help me in the kitchen and quickly took his place as sous chef. We got the cake bake, and tweaked a frosting recipe to make it more to Grandma’s liking.

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We are in the process of buying a house, so I am starting to pack little by little. While the kids played, I packed a box and went through some junk drawers.

Papa came home shortly after. While I was outside drawing with chalk with Winter, Grandma arrived. The kids ran to show her the gifts they had made. Hailey was so excited for Grandma to read her book. Elijah explained his birthday picture he drew. Then we all went inside to sing happy birthday and eat cake! The cake turned out rich and chocolaty.

After Grandma left, I got dinner in the oven. Elijah was playing on his tablet and Hailey was looking for something to do. I asked her if she would like to help me with dishes and I got a excited “sure!”. I washed, she rinsed and dried. She said she was pretending we worked in a restaurant and we were the dishwashers.  She took on a Texan accent and complained about the boss. We got all the dishes washed together.

After dinner, Papa was studying, so I took the kids into the bedroom to read some new library books. I read one, then Hailey asked to read the next, and then she read the last one, while Elijah repeated the words so he felt like he was reading too. Then teeth got brushed and the littles ready for bed.

How was your day?

My Unschooler has learned to read and what we did today!

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Today the kids woke up earlier than usual, which means the grown ups at a sleepier start than we prefer. Papa and I sat around drinking coffee, talking about his new job that starts next week, and finalizing our Thanksgiving menu (that we are actually cooking on Saturday).

The big kids were busy playing together. I am not actually sure what they were playing there for a while, but they were happy and getting along. The baby was walking around getting into this or that.

It was time to start getting ready for the grocery store. I walked into the room where I heard the kids. Hailey was reading Elijah a book. Some parts she had memorized I am sure, but many other words she was sounding out or already knew. I was really surprised. I knew she had been reading more and more, but she had not quite been ready to show what she had learned yet. When she finished up she was so excited.

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We all got ready. While I was getting ready, Elijah asked if I wanted him to tell me a story. He told me a version of Jack and the Beanstalk where the Princess saves the day at first, but then the Giant comes back and terrorizes again until Jack is finally not afraid to stop him. I loved the creativity. A few months ago he would not have been able to be that coherent with a story.

We headed out the door. Hailey asked to bring some books in the car too. The kids stayed in the car with their Papa at the first store. We stopped and got some pizza for lunch. Then we headed to the nest store.

Hailey asked to read me a book in the car. This was a new book that she hadn’t had read to her yet. She read almost the entire thing with only some help on some longer words. It was a decent sized book too. I can officially say that she has learned how to read. We are really proud of her. Unschoolers can learn how to read with no lessons!

Hailey was asking some questions about different punctuation in the book. She had never noticed commas or quotation marks before. We talked about what they were and tried to think of some more examples.

At the last store we talked a lot about what we would be making for our big dinner. The kids helped me find the ingredients. Then they were making up silly rhymes. Elijah has just been learning what rhymes are this week from a library book we picked up that he really liked. So he kept coming up with rhymes and repeating some he had heard before.

On the way home Hailey said that she was a story store and would sell us a story for a quarter. So I gave her a quarter and she made up a brand new story for me on the spot. Then Papa gave her a quarter and she gave him a story too.

We got home and unloaded the groceries. Elijah asked me to put some face paint on him really quick. He is some kind of Pokemon superhero apparently.

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Hailey is playing the wii and Papa is helping her beat a big bad boss. Elijah is eating a smoothie popsicle. The baby is getting into stuff he isn’t supposed to and trying to eat crayons.

Please feel free to share about your day in the comments.

What can you learn from one hike?

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Many people wonder how unschooling really works in real life. I know I used to scour the internet for stories about what an unschoolers day looked like. Now that we are unschoolers ourselves, I truly understand what others meant when they said everyday was different, but overall kids learned what they needed.

Today we took a hike as a family and I decided to try to identify learning through the lenses of “school” subjects. A hike is just a hike right? How much can you learn from one hike? Well, if you open your eyes it is so easy to see that the learning is everywhere.

Obviously a hike is exercise, so that is physical education, aka gym, covered. Elijah was picking some different kinds of plant leaves and asking what they were: biology obviously. Like the last time we went hiking, Hailey decided to practice her writing skills in the dirt, and then read us what she wrote. Reading and writing covered. She drew some pictures as well, at least a half dozen of them, so let’s mark art off the list.

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We hiked by the Great Miami River and talked about how big this river was; how it went from one part of Ohio to another. We talked about how the other hiking trail we went to last week was next to the same river, even though it was in a different city and explained how that worked. There is some geography for you.

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There were some very large, very old trees to be seen. We chatted about their age and how long they had been growing. Some basic history checked off this imaginary list. Hailey decided to pick flowers for each of us while hiking. She counted each one as she picked it, then decided to keep track of how many she had given each of us and the difference between us, as well as how many more she would need to get to a certain number. Real world math-check.

We found a spot close by the river and went down to explore. The kids were tossing in pebbles and sticks; what floats, what sinks? Papa showed them his skipping rock skills: physics and basic scientific method being touched on here.

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A bit further down we spotted some geese and a few deer. We observed them for a few minutes. They were pretty. Animal biology is always a winner for the kids.

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So there you go. In a matter of a couple of hours of a kid paced hike we managed to naturally touch on many different schoolish subjects. Questions were asked, critical thinking ensued, curiosity peaked. Learning through living, no force, no trying to hide learning. Unschooling is amazing.

Learning to read without lessons

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I am watching my 5-year-old learn to read. It is a beautiful, simple process. I have not “taught” her, she has not had formal lessons, no forced X amount of minutes she has to spend practicing daily. I read to her. Lots of books. Books she picks out; books I think she will like. I read in front of her. I read aloud things as I am typing them for her. I spell words out at her request.

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The thing that has helped her the most is computer games. She likes to search for games herself on the app stores. For a long time, she would ask me how to spell something (like cat or baby). Then she would remember those words. She then began to like playing some games that had words to read as a part of the game. She could figure the game out without reading, but eventually she wanted to know what it said. I would always help read it, but sometimes I was helping my other kids, or she just didn’t want to get up. So she has started sounding it out.

I didn’t even know how far she was along in this journey. Today she called me into her room to ask for some help reading a word on her dragon game. She pointed out all the words she had already read. “Mom this says green fairy, and that says boss, and this says rock, but I can’t figure out this word after rock”. So I asked “what did you think it was when you tried to read it?” She sounded out the word and I repeated what she sounded out and she put it together. “Dragon! Oh okay! Rock Dragon!”

I don’t know who is more proud.

Our “Homechool” Today 1/3/16

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Today’s homeschooling has actually been building upon the things we have done the past few days. Hailey has started to enjoy me reading her longer books, so while Papa is putting the toddler to sleep, I have been reading her longer books. Her favorite so far has been the Frog and Toad series.

In one story, Toad decides to make a to-do list and rigidly adheres to the list. This started an interesting conversation about what to-do lists are for and how we try to stick to them, or if we can just add things as we think of them, or when it is okay to decided something on your list isn’t worth doing, etc. Hailey decided to make her own to do list, so she had me tell her how to spell what she wanted to write.

To Do:

Listen to a chapter

Do a show

Watch

Go to sleep

It was getting late and I was tired so we agreed we would do that list the following day. So we read another chapter, and then she pretended to put on a newscast from inside a big cardboard box with the front cut out used as her TV. She is currently watch Netflix, and I hope sleep is to follow.