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Archive for March, 2011

She’s drawing a picture of “dogs in a cage, on top of a house and outside in the shining sun.”  She tells us the dogs’ stories as she draws.  She writes the name of her Grandma’s goldfish on the top of the page.  She explains that she’s going to give the drawing to the fish.  She tells us what some of the things on the page symbolize (hearts are for love and the sun is for “feeling happy”). She signs her own name at the bottom of the page and then she makes up and sings what she calls “The Poodle Song.”

How do we categorize this time? Drawing, artistic symbolism, music composition and performance, reading and writing, story and generosity?  It is abundance. With everything in rich context. Yet some would feel more comfortable if I would say, “its time to practice your letters. Now let’s sit down and quietly focus on writing the alphabet.”

If everything she learns has a clear context, will she feel the need to search for meaning?

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We’ve found the bathtub to be a very good place to learn our letters.  We already had one set of the foam bathtub letters by Munchkin at our house and a few weeks ago I went out and bought another set.

Its nice to have two sets so that we don’t have (as many) fights over which letters someone is using. And, of course, sometimes a word will need two of a letter.  It was and is still nice to improvise when we don’t have enough of a particular letter (like using an upside down ‘V’ for an ‘A’ or a backwards ‘3’ for an ‘E.’

The only downside to these particular letters is that they are not meant to be chewed or eaten, but they are oh so tempting in that regard.

 

 

 

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It is late-March 2011.  Our 4yo daughter’s art is at an early turning point.  It has progressed from the more ordered scribbling from this time last year to this:

She likes to sign her name and she also enjoys writing her sister’s name as well.  If she is making a card for someone in particular, she almost always wants to write their name somewhere on the drawing. I find it to be a very good opportunity to practice letters and help her figure out which letters make which sounds.

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Before our first daughter was born, people were already asking if we were planning to homeschool.  I’m not sure if the plan for a child’s education is a common baby shower topic, but for me it was.  Its probably primarily because I was homeschooled as a child and people wondered if I’d follow in my parents’ footsteps.

My answer back then to the “are you going to homeschool” inquiries was usually a simple and upbeat “probably.”  If the conversation went further, I might have explained that I was still trying to figure out my educational philosophy.

So, I spent the last few years reading and thinking and asking and finding some of the answers to a whole bunch of questions. Like: What does it mean to get an education? Why is an education important? How do kids learn? How did I learn best? Why did my husband excel at school? What does he want our kids to know? What do I want them to know? What styles and philosophies of education mesh with our parenting styles and philosophies? How important is it to treat each child as an individual? Oh, and so many more questions.  There might have been a thousand other questions.  Each question could be a full post or multiple posts in some cases and maybe they eventually will be.  Although, there are already a lot of books, articles and blog posts out there that eloquently attempt to answer some of those questions.

I’ll skip ahead to say that at this stage, with that first baby now a 4yo, and a 2yo and a 7mo here too, we are still planning on homeschooling.  But more specifically we are planning on unschooling. This blog is intended to chronicle all that pertains on this particular journey.

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