I am rather impressed with Em’s response to our recent homeschool routines. A mixture now of unschool and cobbled together learning, she seems willing, motivated, and involved.
And that really makes all the difference in the world.
Her Day, Her Way
There are few rules to our homeschooling days other than…Until you finish your list of daily activities, you may not watch tv or play Minecraft on your computer.
That’s pretty much it. And since she is currently obsessed with Minecraft and would prefer to spend HOURS on it, this approach works. The sooner she is done, the sooner she can get to play Minecraft, or watch Minecraft videos, or talk to her friends about Minecraft.
Minecraft, Minecraft, MINECRAFT!
In any case, she has her checklist of things to do, and I pretty much leave it up to her as to what she wants to do first, second, et cetera.
Public school is so rigidly regimented, they typically have their classes in the same exact order, every day, week after week. But that’s one great part about homeschooling, you can mix it up!
And you can take it on the road. Yesterday we didn’t have any housecleanings scheduled, but we did have one today. So Em brought her bag and worked on what she could work on while waiting for Dee and I to finish cleaning the client’s house.
“Mama, I want to do Life of Fred today instead of waiting for tomorrow. Is that okay?” She asked me on Monday.
I have her doing a set of problems in Khan Academy each day, and added Life of Fred into the mix on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but who was I to argue if she wanted to work ahead? No problem!
And today, as we were getting ready to leave the house she said, “Mama, I want to do Life of Fred EVERY day, because I really like it.”
This from the girl who tried to tell me that she was no good at math.
As we were reading the second chapter in Life of Fred this week (I finished a little ahead of Dee at the client cleaning and had a few minutes), I said, “It says here that Fred was a mathematician and that meant that he loved figuring out patterns. I guess that makes me a mathematician too!”
Emily nodded at this and smiled, “Me too!”
It is that kind of attitude that I want to promote. The idea that, not only is she an intelligent girl, but that even more importantly, if she tries, if she learns tricks, plays games, and keeps at it, she can learn anything. I want her to learn that math is not some horrible thing, it can actually be fun.
Just like reading! And speaking of reading…
Gulp! Down Go Those Books!
I added those lines on her weekly checklist to fill out what books she is reading and she happily complied by writing her list so far for the week…
- Dragons Beware
- Utena 5
- Giants Beware
- Polly and the Pirates 2 (this she reads with her dad at night)
She may also have already started reading Super Dinosaur, Volume 1 by now since she has blasted through the Beware books.
Right now she is focused on graphic novels. The last thing in the world I would do would be to argue with that. Do I want her reading chapter books and finer literature? Absolutely. But it will come in time. Meanwhile, she is READING. And for the life of me, I cannot see how this could be anything but good.
Above all other things, I come away from homeschooling with such a deep sense of happiness and pride. She is learning so much, and growing up and becoming a responsible, curious human being. I love watching it happen!
Spelling Continues to Improve
I Googled “3rd grade spelling lists” and was rewarded with a list of 36 weekly tests consisting of 16 words each.
Some of these words have already been covered by Dee in her homeschooling of Em in August, so I was not particularly surprised when she aced this week’s test at 100% on Day 2.
Good job, Em, you are getting better and better!