Thursday, September 18, 2014

We Are Unschoolers, Finally!! Part 2

Unschooling, child led learning, is on the chalkboard today, folks. As I stated in yesterday's post, we are embracing a more unschooled approach to learning in our home this year. Yesterday I covered what unschooling can be defined as, and I shared what my daughter is learning this year based on her choices. In 'Core' subjects. So today I'll get to the real fun stuff, non-core subjects, and how I keep track of what she does just for my own peace of mind and to figure out how to do a transcript if needed. :)
Here's our non-core unschooling:
Art: I'm an artist, therefore I have a big studio full of art supplies. The world is basically her oyster unless she wants to get into glassblowing or metal works and then sorry sister, you're out of luck. #wink We sat down and with Pinterest as our ideas guide she made a list of her interests: Yarning (bombing, crochet), weaving loom, nature weaving, Sketching: cities, buildings, perspective, point line drawings, Pottery (make pottery wheel), Screen printing, Encaustic wax painting, Jewelry, soldering, Paper mache', Embroidery: constellations, feathers, people, eyes, Dolls, Scarfs. Out of anything, Felting, Fabric rugs, Wood art, Street art. So far we've worked on a few and done some new things. She's practiced perspective drawing, pointillism drawing/painting, watercolor, splatter painting (think Pollac and the corner of my kitchen is covered ceiling to baseboard in trash bags because this is her splatter zone.) She veered off plan and worked on a Loki costume for Halloween out of duct tape, made a corset out of cardboard, duct tape and metal for the 'bones'. She has begun covering shipping boxes in white paper to start decorating them as a city. What we don't know how to do, we google, youtube or Pinterest it. The internet has everything, seriously.
Music: She wanted to continue with the classes we did last year since she likes the instruments and has friends there, so she's in advanced guitar, advanced band and marching band. She also has made a list of songs she wants to learn on her guitar (Queen songs, hymns, Hobbit chant, Frozen songs, etc). She uses the PS3 2014 Rocksmith game which teaches you step by step how to play guitar. She has made a list of songs to learn on the piano and I've schedule her to meet with a friend to brush up on notes and chords. (Hello Dolly, Star Wars theme, Frozen songs, Led Zeppelin, Hymns).
Foreign Language: she's continuing with the class she took last year and doing Spanish 2. She wanted to be with her friends there too. It's now held twice a week in our small living room, 10 students and teacher.
PE: This is where we get a bit interesting. She asked if she could learn to 'swashbuckling pirate sword fight'. I figured this was like fencing, so she is now in a class twice a week for about 1 1/2 hrs each day. Hard work, great instruction. She is also taking archery instruction for 2 hrs each week. Sometimes we ride bikes or walk and she learns new exercises on Wii Fit Plus. Occasionally she'll take a yoga class with grandma.
Bible: We attend church weekly for 2 1/2 hrs, she also attends a small group and another class for 2 1/2 hrs a week. We are learning weekly bible verses, she's reading a bible chapter a day (according to what Sonlight History has her reading) and we're working our way through the Catechism although I'm counting that under History for now. She also has a devotional she gets to couple times a week.
Life Skills: A very important lesson to learn. How to care for a house, a car, a bank account. Things we will get to eventually. For now, she requested to learn about international cooking and baking so she sat and schedule what cuisine we'll learn about each month. This month is Indian food but we've been so busy we haven't done much with it. I'll work on that.
*** Her interests are varied and heady but I think we can fit them all in.
I used to keep detailed daily and monthly records but this year we're in a calendar. It works for me. This is what it looks like and how. I tally hours:
It does seem like a lot if you look at our whole list of things to accomplish but she is enjoying herself, and she picked 98% of it. I'm not running myself ragged hollering at her to get her work done, or study for that test, etc. We're enjoying each other much more. She has the option to put something aside if it's not what she wants to do at this time and I just try to keep up and make sure the car is filled with gas. Ahhh, unschooling.

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