Monday, December 26, 2011

Our best learning is happening now, while school is out..

Lately, the craziness of life has been affecting our school time. We have so many commitments and appointments... We end up squeezing our book work into the few hours of down time we have each day, and it always feels like we're trying to 'get it over with' so we can go run the next errand.. It's nothing like I pictured homeschooling.
This week, though, we've used our usual book work time to go learn outside while having fun, like I planned it..
Friday, we took Crumpet Sr. with us to the beach and flew kites and had a picnic. Then we went wading around in tide pools to see what we could find. We ended up with a bucket of little fish, snails, and piles of little hermit crabs. The weather was beautiful, the waves are huge, and the surfers are fun to watch. Crumpet was so excited to be outside, studying nature. It was bliss. There is no other word.
Today, Crumpet and I headed out to a park we've been wanting to explore. The next science lesson in our book was about learning to identify local plants and birds. We took A Hiker's Guide to Trailside Plants in Hawaii with us.
This was a great lesson in using the table of contents and the index of a non-fiction book. In the park, we chose some plants to identify and found almost all of them in the book. We took lots of pictures and brought home a few leaves and seeds to dry so we can make a booklet to refer back to.
While we were out, we found a geocache. Then we played on a huge wooden model train engine located in the park.
We pretended we were characters from Puss in Boots. It was so much fun, and Crumpet had no idea we'd spent the afternoon doing school work. I need to find a way to do this more often.
This week, I'm noticing that Crumpet is finally more willing to ask 'why' and come up with a hypothesis. He's willing to wonder, and discuss possibilities. He's learning to think for himself. It is so exciting to watch, and it makes him so much fun to talk to.
Life is good.

(P.S. I just looked back at my blog, and one of my recent posts was about all the fun things we were doing in November when we weren't in school... Maybe I need to relax and stop stressing so much about the daily requirements of life and remember the fun bits more? )


  1. "Maybe I need to relax and stop stressing so much about the daily requirements of life and remember the fun bits more?"

    Definitely, dear! Bookwork is all well and good, but real activities will help the lessons stick in everyone's brains AND create happy memories. {{hug}}

  2. It sounds like such a great way to learn. I always thought that unstructured child-led learning is one of the best advantages of homeschooling, especially when you have only one kid.