The End of 6th Grade

April 23rd, and the school year is done! Well, sort of. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My son used Switched-On Schoolhouse this year, and he has completed his work. My husband and I still need to go in and grade a few things, and adjust some grades where the program didn’t grade correctly. That was my son’s biggest problem with the program. He knew he gave the correct answer, but the program would mark a problem wrong. My husband and I would go over the problem with him to find he was right. After reading some reviews on the program that was a common complaint.

We have been discussing unschooling, and we plan on heading a bit more in that direction. We have some state requirements to meet for homeschooling, so we will still have a bit of a curriculum to follow. We basically want to work on life skills, and what is practical/useful. My son (The only one of 3 who is schoolaged) has been interested in the medical field for career options, so if he continues on that path we will have to make sure he meets the requirements to enroll in college courses for those options. He has been interested in phlebotomy, and radiology over the years. Most recently he has been less interested in college, and more interested in working in fields that only require on the job training. 

I explained to my son, that with unschooling there may be schoolwork over the summer. When the weather is nice we have more opportunities for field trips, and lessons in the garden. Obviously I want him to enjoy his summer, and part of unschooling is for the child the choose what they want to learn about. I hope that he will choose to learn over the summer. ๐Ÿ™‚ I told him that we might look into buying a new tree for our yard, so I might request that he research the soil type, or amount of sun that tree needs to thrive. He thinks that would be easy, so he’s willing to do it as long as there isn’t a report involved. His father and I appreciate nature, and like improving our property.  I see the tree project as a practical/useful lesson, but maybe he’ll be a city dweller with no garden to tend when he leaves home. Will it be a waste of his time to do such a project? I know he has a curiosity about plants, because right now he is trying to grow some acorns that he collected in our yard. In years past he has had his own row or two in our vegetable garden to grow his own plants too.

I don’t want to force my interests on him. I want him to develop his own personality/interests. Right now he is reading the Harry Potter series for enjoyment, so I don’t want to push him to take on more reading.  I plan on having him use our local library to borrow several books on a subject that interests him and see what he gains by doing so. If he likes the subject he will have no problem sharing what he learns verbally, but I wonder if I should require anything in writing to keep a record of his “schoolwork”. I also plan on having him be more involved with meal planning. I want to make sure that he won’t rely on take out, or convenience foods when he moves out on his own. I’ve had him help find a new recipe to try, and he made the meal with only a little guidance from me. I think he enjoyed cooking, and since he’s a picky eater being part of the planning meant he was willing to try it. ๐Ÿ™‚  

He is a very curious child, and likes to learn. He enjoys sharing what he learns too. (Sometimes while I am trying to read, blog or nurse the baby) ;P

I think I’ll give him at least a couple of weeks off before I start requesting “work” from him. He did work hard to earn his time off by doing extra work daily in subjects as others were completed.

Encouraging Early Learning

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My little guy who is two, just loves Mickey Mouse right now. My husband found some Mickey related items while shopping at the dollar store recently, and they just happen to be learning tools too. He found a numbers and counting workbook, a box of shape/color flash cards and a puzzle. When my son was first given the workbook, he was excited to see Mickey, but that was all he was interested in. Then he decided to rip apart the cover of the book, but he kept the inner pages intact. ย He spent some time flipping through the pages, talking about the characters in it, or the different items pictured. Finally tonight he has shown some interest to write in it, scribble really.๐Ÿ˜‰ He has been “counting” ย for a while now, so I was able to show him pictures of the numbers that he likes to say. He really likes saying one and two. Sometimes he will even count backwards like a countdown. It’s so cute. For some reason he likes the number six. He calls it sick though. He’ll often say “one, two, sick “.

It’s great to have so many products availableย to teach young children, that are designed with themes that capture their attention. If I had to capture his attention with my own artistic abilities he would never pay attention. ๐Ÿ˜‰

He loved the flash cards too. It took him about twenty seconds to rip open the package and spread the cards all over our livingroom. He will show me a card, so I can tell him the shape and color. I don’t want to pressure him to learn too much, but I am happy to answer his questions. I want him to enjoy the learning process and I want to teach him from observations I make of his interests.