Our unschooly dayI was late this year in planning and ordering, so all my new fun school stuff hasn't arrived yet. So the formal, planned lesson stuff isn't happening for a little while longer. Things are pretty informal around here, but I want to assure myself that learning is actually happening. So I'm going to periodically jot down the more 'learning' type things that take place around here.
*We went and cleaned our church house this morning. The girls worked dusting woodwork and emptying trash cans. They worked diligently and cooperated.
*I read out loud from Little House in the Highlands while the girls worked with some Montessori sewing kits (embroidery and button sewing). Calvin did some water play while we read.
*Hazel and I played a reading game. I grabbed a bunch of articles (glass, spoon, lid, ring, rake, brush, cup, book) and made labels for each on strips of paper. We put the items in one bowl and the labels in another and she matched the words to the item. This is a Montessori idea that I got from Barbara Curtis' Mommy Teach Me to Read. Chloe joined us after her nap and needed some help on some of the words, which Hazel proudly offered.
*After they tired of doing the word game, they used my set of 6 nesting mixing bowls to stack and compare sizes, then they got out many many many pieces of kitchen stuff to bake me some 'goodies.' That's got to be at least mildly educational, right? I made them clean it all up afterwards, so they got another lesson--consequences and responsibility.
*While driving we played an animal classification game where they had to tell me if something was a mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian. We talked about the qualities of each class, and did a little with some of the different orders--mostly primate and marsupial. The girls loved this one. We'll have to make this a car time staple. One of our other favorite car games is shamelessly stolen from Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glen. It's her version of Mad Libs; my kids call it the 'Miss Verb' game and they love it.
*We went to my own personal version of hell--Chuck E. Cheese. *Shudder* The kids picked it for our family fun day. ICK!!!! But they had to figure out what they could 'buy' based on the number of tickets. Needed some help on this one, but at least it was math of a sort, right? Total aside on the topic of that blighted chain--on the drive home Hazel dreamily speculated that the kind person who built C.E.C. must have loved children a lot and wanted them to be happy. I kinda think that sadistic person just hated parents a lot.
So in looking back over our day, there was some learning going on. I guess I had to assure myself of that. You know how there are those panicky moments where you feel so overwhelmed by this task we've undertaken? Had a big one today. But deep breath, I can do this. They can do this. They WILL learn, one way or another.