Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It's amazing how one little thing can change your view, your goals, your feelings. I moved the bookcase in the living room from one corner to another. No big deal. It was behind the big chair in our room and was mostly filled with art books of mine that need to go to my studio. In another corner, in an old large plastic milk crate (florescent orange and doesn't match the room) were our library books, overflowing. Being homeschoolers, we have never had just a few books out of the library. In fact, last week we only had 35 checked out and I was proud of that fact, even told the kids a few times. Now, we're back up to 95 after a nice long library visit.

ANYWAY, after coming home with 5+ bags of books and plopping them and me down on the couch, I stared at my bookshelf. I looked at the hutch in the other more accessible corner... and got the idea to switch them. We never get into the hutch unless we run out of candles. Usually during a storm. Why didn't I think of this switch before? I don't know. So, after some hard work and hauling books, and then neatly placing our library books on the shelf, we have this! Accessible books! Off my floor! And the unsightly milk crate is heading downstairs.

The little one loves the book corner. She brought out a rug from her room, her cup chair and the bed tray and now has her reading area. I have my books all lined up and it reminds me what I have and I am more eager to read them. I love it! It will be so nice during the school year when we have even MORE books out from the library!


I've been reading up on unschooling, and Sonlight and other things this week. I mentioned before how my children think I've sucked all the fun out of school and the little one even asked to 'take off a year from school.' Imagine my shock. I've come to realize she doesn't really mean that. This week I asked for more specifics, what she wants to do, versus what she hates. Hates worksheets, textbooks, writing. I never knew about the writing part. But she doesn't consider when she writes poetry or stories on her own, as 'writing'. Just when I have her do something as 'school'. She wants to read, play games, do lots of science stuff/experiments and cooking, art, piano.

Now I know you shouldn't coddle the children, but I don't want them to HATE school either. I'm looking into a more relaxed homeschooling for the little one (the teen has her schedule of college classes and simple textbooks all ready.) I think I'm formulating a plan. We'll read a lot (hence, the researching of Sonlight for history and reading.) I thought for math I'd make up a list of topics I want her to cover in the year and then provide opportunities for that learning. Whether through board games (Smath, Tri-onimos, XTable WAR, Number Quest, etc.) or through games we make up, cooking, field trips, math books (Divide and Ride, Alice in Numberland, Body Math, Grapes of Math), building things, lego playing, etc... I want to try anyway. Science will be reading, experiments (something she requests a lot of) and field trips. I don't know if this is considered unschooling or not but I'm getting close. On spelling and grammar, I had Wordly Wise for spelling, but its workbook. Not sure how to do these topics without instruction. I think I have a few games (Scrabble, Upwords, etc...)

Any suggestions would be great appreciated.


Rhonda said...

I've heard good things about livingmath.net.

Wanda H said...

Hello. I came here via your art blog via Audrey's blog :-)) We have a computer program called Spell It 3 that is fabulous for spelling... we've had it a long time but it would be worth a quick google to see if it's still available out there.

Robin said...

Our computer crashed last January with ALL of GB's curriculum and data for the year. And at first I was devastated. But then we started doing the same type of plan you are taking with your 5th grader and GB was thrilled. It really helped us over a hump and he is entering this year with a much better enthusiasm. I think 5th grade turned out to be a great year for that kind of thing to happen.
Good luck with your year. I hope it works out for you all.
Btw, I got a book from Amazon really cheap called Family Math by Jean Kerr Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey. We had a lot of fun with that book.

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