Friday, September 12, 2008

Unschooling in the a.m.

Okay, so things are going well here! Much better than I could have anticipated in fact :)

When Hug was at preschool I was always kinda nervous about the days that I had both boys at home. It seemed like everything was always a bit crazy! Well, it was & I guess in a lot of ways it still is :) but, I am feeling so prepared (more on that later) and the boys are working together & getting on so well. I'm getting them both involved in a lot more of the daily household jobs... cooking (Lovely helped me make a Lasagna last night!), hanging out the washing, putting washing on, mopping... 

Anyway, I digress from the original idea for the post! I guess my home-schooling approach at the moment is one of unschooling with a lot of Montessori influence and some Steiner as well. An eclectic mix and I hear women all around the world saying that theirs is an eclectic mix too :)
So, this morning T left to play golf this morning before the boys were up. Later when we were all up and sitting at breakfast Hug mentioned something about playing 9 holes of golf. Ahhh, yes. 9 holes. And there is a front 9 and a back 9. I got our basket of wooden clothes pegs down and counted out 9 for the front and 9 for the back. Then I asked Hug to count the 2 piles... 18!

The basket of clothes pins is something I put together a long time ago - my version of the Montessori spindles - but Hug has never taken much to using them here at home. I got out our foam numbers and laid them out in order from 0 to 9 and asked Hug to match the numbers.

You can see here that he put out too many for the 6. I was actually pleased because I wanted to see if he would realise this later on. When he got to 9 he told me that he was 2 clothes pins short. Okay, great! Go back and check.  Then, I modeled putting the pegs back in the basket and counting as I went. I told Hug that I *knew* that there would be 45 pegs in total. Interesting mama... He was going to make sure I was right! Yes, there were 45 pegs. 

So, next I explained that it was because 0 + 1 + 2 + ... equaled 45. This got us doing some simple equations. First, 0+1=1. Then, 1+2=3. Here you can see us up to 4+5. I set this up with the pegs under the 4 and the 5 and was going to show him how you added them together and they came to 9 but because he could already see the 9 he went and got 9 more and put them under the 9. Well, that was great too because we then had a discussion about the purpose of the equals sign... both sides of an equation are *equal*! We had 9 on the left of the equal symbol and 9 on the right & we were kinda back to where this conversation and impromptu unschooling session started!

While we had the foam numbers out I also grabbed the foam brain puzzle (the boys Nan had bought both of these foam sets) for Lovely to play with because he likes to play with the numbers one and I didn't want him grabbing the numbers while we were busy with them. So, after all of our number work we looked at the brain together. Lovely was quite taken with the spinal cord!
Then, Hug and I moved on so Lovely got to use his numbers too. We do a lot of one to one correspondence together but I am only gently introducing the numerals with Lovely & I think him playing with this puzzle gives him a familiarity with the numerals that will be great later. 

Tucked in the back of the same plastic sleeve as the brain puzzle was this Ant life cycle work, again something I probably made up about a year ago but haven't had out in ages. Hug and I recreated the life cycle (the master is on the black card just out of view) and then Hug wanted to do one of the colouring sheets. We got the Children's Encyclopedia of Animals out & I explained using the contents page and looked at the ants to see their colouring as Hug was interested.

Phew! Not bad for 7.15 am!! 

Now, I've probably bored any teachers or veteran homeschoolers to tears here with this stuff but it's all exciting & new to us so please forgive me :)

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  1. Great! I love what you are doing with your boys and how it all seems to flow. Thanx for sharing!


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