haven't posted in a while...it's a long one
Like other posters it was nice to not have to go to school this week.
: I thought of my kids still cuddled in their beds when I saw a few families frantically dragging thier backpack laden children plus strollers for the little ones up our street!
We had a good summer. Lots of swimming at a nearby provincial park, went camping, went and saw my family who I haven't seen since ds was born 5 years ago (!) Dd and ds are getting better at bike riding (dd still has training wheels but it doesn't phase her, and ds has a modified bike from physio) and I have at least another month to take them out before it snows, lol! Dd also wants to try swimming lessons now after spending most of our swimming time underwater...last year she didn't even want to get her face splashed...
...she even has almost picked up a front crawl on her own experimentation. Due to her auditory processing issues and red headed free spirit, I think she will do better one on one with a private instructor, so we will see. Ds still doesn't like getting HIS face wet either, but I have no qualms about waiting for his timing and not pushing him into lessons right now, based on what has happened with dd.
I have a local email chain I am a part of. We are going to a local park on Mon, and have invited a bunch of people through the chain. That's stepping out of the box for me, I am really trying to expand on the homeschoolers I know although unfortunately I have found in the past everyone is "too busy" just like schooled people. Hopefully someone shows up. There are a bunch of church based small groups around here, and unfortunately the groups around here all tend to be pretty cliquish and strict. I also am atheist (not blatently open about it though so most of my hs friends assume I am christian like them) and definitely not a school at home-r so it makes it awkward sometimes, but I do go the gym time held twice a month (and even switched to another one because the one I went to was too "strict" and didn't allow much free play)
I just sent in my homeschool notification and my very late June progress report
this week, and it was good to sit down and think about what we want to "do" this year learning wise. It was good to get everything on paper and see that dd really does learn all the time. One thing lacking in our learning lives is "numeracy" as opposed to "literacy". Ds seems to be very mathematical and pick on concepts quite readily like mentally adding his dollars to make 5.00 in Monopoly jr, but dd has to really think about it, use her stones I provided her, or fingers, etc. and her anxiety goes through the roof. She does have a grasp of logic, and more general mathematical concepts, but is TOTALLY a right brained creative thinker who would struggle greatly with the sequential linear workbook way of teaching math in school. It has to be "in context"...for example she is slowly picking up on place value when looking at her computer game scores. I have been trying to overcome my fear of how to "do math" with her as we think so differently and also how to be a "true unschooler" in approaching it with her ie-just exploring it and having fun, not forcing her into lessons (and when I think she would be starting times tables in school!) I have been poking around the Living Math website http://www.livingmath.net
lately as I think because she is so literature and language based and visual it would provide some of the context she needs to make sense of it (things like the Sir Cumference books, the MathStart series, etc). I also need some manipulatives like base 10 blocks for when some of this stuff like place value comes up, LOL!
As far as what is up now, dd has been able to sit and concentrate on small chapter books lately. We are going through some small Little House Books, and it is great all the conversations that have stemmed from it...technology, life in the 1800's, etc. We are also working on a few comic strips here and there, and it is the only writing whe is willing to do ie-actually doing it herself. Some of them are quite funny! I do take dictation on some pretty involved stories though as she finds it too fatiguing to write them, the latest being on Mr. and Mrs. Dinklebat which is her christening of her two dollhouse dolls!!! Ds is getting better at his fine motor skills, and is slowly starting to get interested in at least drawing a little with me...mostly Transformers and Bob the Builder...he's the one who I think will be the later reader, not interested in print, etc, uhlike dd who's stronger aptitude is language arts and not math. Go figure.
I know I wrote about all this and it sounds like alot of "schooly" stuff. One thing I have been encouraged on by unschooling moms on other lists is to really look at all the glory and awe in who our children are, to get the schooled thinking out our head when it encourages us to see "lack" in our children and not just how plain 'ol NEAT they are. I have been really trying to focus on that this summer when going through my annual panic attack about school. When I live in the moment and delight in the learning in that moment and don't panic and look to the future so much, instead looking at how they have grown and changed from even a year ago, it reassures me more.
Ok, us in a nutshell...