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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Best cheapo building activity (but requires fine motor control an early elementary boy might not have yet, so maybe this is for 3+ years in the future) - toothpick and elmer's glue bridges. Go out and study the bridges you can find in your community, come home, design lots of different kinds of bridges (think about how you would add stability to the road using different shapes - triangles and rectangles in particular), and build them out of toothpicks and glue. After they're dry, you put them between two chairs or tables and can hang weights off them (bags of marbles or stones work) and add weight till they break. Then see which ones held the most weight and if you can improve on the design and do it all again. Appeals to both building and destructive impulses and is all kinds of sciencey and also helps them work on the idea of a draft process which is so important in all areas of life.


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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Kelly wrote:
That's great they the workbooks keep B occupied and out of trouble! What a good thing for him to be into!

Do you do hands on projects with him? He seems like he'd be really into detailed projects (based on what you've mentioned about him). Silas is never as quiet and calm as when he has a lego set to build. That's an expensive activity though, so we do all kinds of crazy things with him. Popsicle sticks and glue are kind of magic.

He's too distractable for most hands-on projects. I try to do some crafty stuff with him every now and then, but he isn't into it. And anything with lots of parts (like his blocks and puzzles) will eventually turn into projectiles and get strewn around the house if I'm not careful. He doesn't even like to help cook. ;p
I can sometimes give him a task, like putting the dirty laundry in the washer or getting him to draw a picture of something specific or getting the mail (although he sometimes doesn't want to come back upstairs), but if he is being really wild, it won't work.
Workbooks, though, as long as I keep an eye on him (because sometimes he gets crazy and just starts doing fake cursive scribbles), are usually really good at keeping him occupied!

(I think in the future, though, he will chill out and be a lot less wild -- and be a decent help around the house.)

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:29 pm 
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
(I think in the future, though, he will chill out and be a lot less wild -- and be a decent help around the house.)



They usually do! Silas is a whole different kid now than he was the first 3 years of his life. He was a wild guy too and some days it felt like he didn't hold still for a second.

So cool that B is so into the workbooks and math and all though, so interesting to see what captures each kids attention.

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:57 pm 
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To get back to the original topic...

I went to a "non-coercive, parent-participation" school that was similar (though not identical) to Sudbury. Basically the way it worked was that no one was forced to take any classes and if kids wanted to learn about something specific they (with the help of staff) would find someone in the community (so existing teachers, parents, etc) to teach them. For example, I took an improv class with a school-mate's step-dad who was an actor, Tai Chi with a friend's mom, etc.

It's certainly not for everyone, but neither is the mainstream method, which I think is essentially make-work babysitting for the majority of the time. Being in charge of my own learning fostered a love of knowledge that was dampened only by the three years I spent in a mainstream high school. I didn't start learning math until I was 9, when I decided I wanted to do it and I ended up transferring to high school a grade ahead of my age group. And I graduated high school on the honour roll and university with an Honours degree.

I certainly saw kids who were struggling, but I imagine they would have struggled as much or more in regular school (in fact, many of them came because they *were* struggling in mainstream schools). At my school you had the freedom to figure out what was interesting to you, how you learn best, and how to advocate for yourself. I think those are all really positive, powerful things.

I think, ultimately, parents need to be working together with their kids and educators to figure out what works best for their kids within the parameters the parents have set. Sending your kid to an unstructured school for political reasons doesn't do your kid much good if they need structure to thrive. Sending your kid who needs freedom and the ability to direct their own activities to a mainstream school is also less than ideal.

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:52 am 
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Generally, homeschooling has been pretty straightforward and our biggest challenge is getting Beetroot to focus and work on the days he doesn't want to. Today was pretty amusing and challenging for another reason, though.

Beet finished his addition 1 through 9 workbook yesterday, so we started the measurement workbook. It turns out, the concept of weight is kind of baffling to him, even after Mr. Crabby and I busted out the scales and gave lots of demonstrations. It was kind of hilarious.

Thumper weighs more than Bugs. Loppy and Bugs weigh the same. This was all illustrated, and Beetroot just had to check the illustrations and fill in the blanks. He was fine with all this, but then the last question stumped him.

"Loppy is lighter than...."
"Loppy!"
"No..."
"Bugs?"
"No..."
"...Loppy!"
"No, Loppy weighs the same as Bugs, so Loppy weighs the same as Loppy. Who is heavier than Loppy?"
"Bugs?"
"...Okay, who is heavier than Bugs?"
"Thumper!"
"Good. Now if Bugs and Loppy weigh the same, and Thumper is heavier than Bugs, who is heavier than Loppy?"
"Bugs!"

This went on for about 20 minutes. Eventually, he answered Thumper and kind of understood it, but still seemed kind of baffled. (I'll cut him some slack since he's 4.)

Maybe you had to be there, but I was cracking up. Mr. Crabby was doing a really good job of not losing his mind, although it looked like he might at one point.

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:36 am 
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I gave Beetroot a pop quiz today. I had 2 goals for homeschooling this year. The first was for Beet to master single-digit addition (he surprised me by learning subtraction, too) and the second goal was for him to be able to write down a sentence if I dictated it to him. He could write his name when we started school, but not much else. His writing and spelling have really improved. I'm so proud of him. He's still 4 and we've done all this and more on only an hour a day!

Image

I dictated the first sentence, he did fill in the blank for the next ones (he didn't want to write 'my mother's name is' and wanted to write 'my Motherwell station is' because he is train-obsessed (only real trains, he doesn't care about the toys or Thomas at all, although he thinks Chuggington is okay), and then wrote the last few himself.
Here's the translation (I ppk-ified our names, not that I care if you see our real names, but there are serial googlers in my family....):
Beet
Monkey does not like to eat poop.
I have a little brother named Raygold.
I want to eat pineapple.
tti
I think my daddy is working.
My Motherwell station is Crabby.
The train I would most like to ride is Motherwell to Milngavie.
I like to go on another train from Glasgow Central to East Kilbride; get off at East Kilbride.


And the maths...I didn't do as much because he knows his single-digit arithmetic pretty well and gets a bit wound up if we do too much. Plus, he wanted to finish lesson 13 of Explode the Code (almost finished with book 3!), so I was happy to get him to do maths at all:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:09 am 
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Yay Beetroot! So awesome! Did he spell the words himself or ask you to spell?? I'm impressed either way, but super impressed if he is spelling that well!

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:18 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Oddly enough, he only asked how to spell mother. I told him it was like the first part of Motherwell and he got so excited, he insisted he write out Motherwell station. He misspelled like once and Milngavie (pronounced kind of like mull-guy), but I'll cut him some slack. ;D

He spends a lot of time on the computer and often asks me how to spell words when he wants to google something, so that might be partly why he is such a good speller. "What's the first letter in...?" "next letter! ... next letter! ..." etc.

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Just wow. That's amazing for a 4 year old! You have a bright kid on your hands!

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:59 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Well, we started homeschooling again. I've tried to start out easy to get Beet back into the swing of things and I'm glad I did because he does not want to get back into the swing of things.

Me: Great, now write down the answer.
Beet: I can't. My pencil wants to write it in the other box. The wrong box!
Me: Haha, that's funny, now write it in the correct box.
Beet: Oh, no! I can't!!
Me: Haha, that's funny. Let's write down the answer now.
Beet: Oh, no! I can't!! Whoa! Look at the pencil, it is being silly!
*5 minutes later*
Me: Please write the answer in the correct box now, Bert.
Beet: I can't, my pencil won't let me!
Me: *losing patience* Tell your pencil I said it's a crasshole.
Beet: Pencil, Crabby says you are a crasshole.
Pencil: *in tiny voice* I am not a crasshole!
Me: aesk;hpoah4hrrnirhfio;ho;irfhaoihofha ~£%$&*!!

Later:
Beet: I don't remember how to spell trains so I can't write it down.
Me: YOU don't remember how to spell trains?! I don't believe you.
Beet: I don't remember!
Me: Look, this is from when you were four, and you wrote all sorts of things.
Beet: I don't remember anymore!
Me: Okay, I guess you can't look trains up on youtube anymore. I'll turn off my computer.
Beet: T-R-A-I-N-S!!!

And, no, I shouldn't have called Beet's pencil a crasshole!

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:41 am 
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I think it's hilarious youu called the pencil a crasshole. And I love the effect the youtube threat had:D


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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:51 am 
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Crabby that crasshole thing is hilarious. That whole exchange is one reason why I could NEVER homeschool Reno. At least at this age. Her listening to me skills are no where to be found. All she would learn is how to swear when frustrated. :)

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:51 am 
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That. is. hilarious.


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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:41 pm 
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JENNA wrote:
Crabby that crasshole thing is hilarious. That whole exchange is one reason why I could NEVER homeschool Reno. At least at this age. Her listening to me skills are no where to be found. All she would learn is how to swear when frustrated. :)

YES me too. I was just talking to someone yesterday about schooling/different types of schools, wishing I were able to home/unschool, but. No. Not for me!

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:29 pm 
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So funny, Crabby! Amazing how kids first impulse is to pretend they don't remember everything!

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:45 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Kiddo wrote:
JENNA wrote:
Crabby that crasshole thing is hilarious. That whole exchange is one reason why I could NEVER homeschool Reno. At least at this age. Her listening to me skills are no where to be found. All she would learn is how to swear when frustrated. :)

YES me too. I was just talking to someone yesterday about schooling/different types of schools, wishing I were able to home/unschool, but. No. Not for me!

We have some friends that say they spend as much time on homework as we do doing homeschooling! One of the friends swears the teachers just do the fun stuff and then send the kids home with the work for the parents to do!!
But in any case, I totally understand why homeschooling wouldn't be for everyone!! It is a ton of work and can be kind of trying at times.

Yesterday (my husband works weekends, so we do school on weekends and save two days off for during the week) was a lot better than earlier this week. Beet did 4 pages from his spelling workbook and then I cut out a bunch of letters from a newspaper and he made a sign that said 'Crabby Cook' (like Thomas Cook, only about me -- he doesn't realise Thomas Cook is a travel agency and Beet says I am "the best cook ever" !! -- He'd been asking to make a Crabby Cook sign all day) and another sign that said "Beet and Raygold's Room" -- we stuck them to the doors of the kitchen and green bedroom. Tried to teach him to use scissors, but Beet had no idea how to use them and I almost lost a finger, so I showed him and did the cutting myself.
Then we did some maths -- I had Vax "teach" him (there's this thing I do where I pretend Vax is talking to the kids and Vax has this crabby, New York cab-driver voice, kind of like Oscar the Grouch, and Vax is all cantankerous and they forking LOVE it) and Beet liked it so much, he did 5 (!!) pages of his maths workbook. Every time I said anything, he would say, "Excuse me, Crabby Crafter,* I am talking to baby Vax." Then we did a little singalong and it was time for bed (we got a late start with school and had to hve dinner in the middle of it) and Beet told me, "Guess what, Crabby Crafter?* Today was the best day of school ever!" <3

I think I am going to have Vax be the teacher whenever Vax is awake and not being fussy!

* Lately, Beet has been calling me by my first and last name. No idea why, but it's hilarious. Raygold has started doing that, too.

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 Post subject: Re: homeschooling/unschooling
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:47 am
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
I gave Beetroot a pop quiz today. I had 2 goals for homeschooling this year. The first was for Beet to master single-digit addition (he surprised me by learning subtraction, too) and the second goal was for him to be able to write down a sentence if I dictated it to him. He could write his name when we started school, but not much else. His writing and spelling have really improved. I'm so proud of him. He's still 4 and we've done all this and more on only an hour a day!

Image

I dictated the first sentence, he did fill in the blank for the next ones (he didn't want to write 'my mother's name is' and wanted to write 'my Motherwell station is' because he is train-obsessed (only real trains, he doesn't care about the toys or Thomas at all, although he thinks Chuggington is okay), and then wrote the last few himself.
Here's the translation (I ppk-ified our names, not that I care if you see our real names, but there are serial googlers in my family....):
Beet
Monkey does not like to eat poop.
I have a little brother named Raygold.
I want to eat pineapple.
tti
I think my daddy is working.
My Motherwell station is Crabby.
The train I would most like to ride is Motherwell to Milngavie.
I like to go on another train from Glasgow Central to East Kilbride; get off at East Kilbride.


And the maths...I didn't do as much because he knows his single-digit arithmetic pretty well and gets a bit wound up if we do too much. Plus, he wanted to finish lesson 13 of Explode the Code (almost finished with book 3!), so I was happy to get him to do maths at all:
Image




This is amazing. Thumbs up for Beetroot. He is going super great!

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