An (Almost) Unschooling Update

Anyone who says that homeschoolers aren’t socialized has not met my children. Or most of the homeschooled children that I know. Even during a pandemic when gathering sizes are limited and social distancing rules are in place, there are plenty of opportunities to interact (safely) with others.

Last week: music lessons, hikes with friends, outdoor story time, a homeschool park meetup, nature study group, riding lessons and visits with grandparents.

This week: cross country practice, time at the playground, and still to come, music lessons, a hike, youth group, time with extended family, outdoor story time and riding lessons.

Everything looks a bit different because of covid. Everything feels a bit different. However, we are blessed with a vibrant community. My children’s social lives aren’t suffering.

As for their education:

  • We read Bible stories and memorized scripture.
  • The girls have been working daily on their math curriculum and the youngest on reading. I’ve been reinforcing concepts through games.
  • We studied fossil fuels and renewable/non-renewable resources using library books and the internet. I introduced the topic and read them the books. We discussed and researched until their interest waned.
  • We were given zoo tickets, so the girls each researched an animal and we headed to the zoo. They had actually chosen the animal they wanted to research months ago and I prepared special boxes that I put in the closet and forgot about. Each box contained books about that animal, a tiny toy replica, a card with a photo of the animal on one side and information on the other, and a necklace with a pendant of the animal. It was amazing to hear them share information about their specific animals while we were at the zoo.
  • On the way home, we drove past Niagara Falls and along the Niagara river to see the power plants (and talked a bit more about renewable energy sources).
  • The girls read books upon books. My eldest daughter’s book stack is pictured below.
  • We reviewed the Canadian explorers that we learned about last week and started reading about the First Nations in Canada. We pulled out a map each time for a quick geography lesson based on our history studies.
  • My oldest received a “Funschooling Journal” in the mail and busied herself researching and writing about tropical birds. She baked cookies.
  • My middle child sketched and wrote stories. She carved arrows for her bow using twigs and a pocket knife.
  • My youngest read 1-2 simple readers aloud to me per day. She drew pictures and built things out of Lego and Plus Plus.
  • The girls built elaborate homes for their toys using boxes, carboard, paper and scraps of fabric.
  • All of the girls had a bit of time on the tablet playing math and reading games.

And of course we did lots of nature study since I last wrote an update. We chased butterflies, caught crickets and frogs, investigated a raccoon skeleton, checked out a snake, gathered nuts, looked for signs of autumn, and identified several types of trees.

When I actually pay attention to all the things my children have done and learned in less than a week, I’m amazed.

4 thoughts on “An (Almost) Unschooling Update

  1. Heather says:

    Mary -Ann this sounds like an amazing and superb week! You inspire me on my road to finding our homeschool rhythm! We read about Niagara Falls a few weeks ago and watched videos, and my parents (who went years ago) showed them all their pictures. Now we all want to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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