English Language Arts
Art & Music
Health & PE
Last night before bed we read more of the lovely Barefoot Book Arthur of Albion. Helena's really obsessed with the Arthurian legends after watching the television series Merlin last winter (So fun!). We read about some of the legends online after watching the series. Now we're revisiting it through this book her Aunt Katie gave her. It has beautiful illustrations and tells the stories in a really lovely, well-worded, adventurous way. I'm enjoying it as well. This counts as a bit of "literature" and "British legends" - which I would categorize under English Language Arts and maybe world history/culture for Social Studies.
This morning Helena read an article in Ranger Rick on sloths. She told me about a scientist studying sloths to better facilitate rescue of babies and returning them to the wilds. This counts as science and language arts (reading).
She practiced her piano this morning - music.
Then we read and watched together some stuff on electricity for the Minecraft homeschool science class she's taking - more science. We talked about pulling out a circuit board, solar energy kit, and solar sun print papers we have sometime in the next few days. But first she took the Minecraft quiz (and got a 100%) so she can get started on building her Minecraft electricity project. She love, love, loves expressing her creativity and interest in building things through Minecraft! She is also really enjoying chatting with other players on the server - which gives her more real life reading and writing practice.
At present she's doing her 2 math problems per day. In addition to reading a lot of fun math stories and riddles together and doing math continually in real life, she does 2 problems per day on paper. This was a decision we both made since we felt it important to know how to solve things on paper not just in her head and to remember the process and steps for solving longer problems. Two problems per day most days of the year along with a lot of real life "story problems" is sufficient for continual learning and much more fun than pages of worksheet problems which leave most kids detesting math! ((Edited later to add that we've since moved to reading Life of Fred stories and solving the "Your turn to play" at the end per her choice. All about being flexible... ))
For real life math we do a lot of "grocery shopping" math lately. She price compares looking at unit prices. She weighs bulk produce and figures out the price in her head, for example 1.5 lbs grapes at $3.99 per lb. Finally, she'll take the receipt and figure out the mean, median, and mode of items purchased. We'll talk about what each statistic means and the different kinds of information it gives us. We'll look for outliers that make the mean much higher than the median or mode. It's just sort of a fun game we play sometimes. The more we play it together, the more adept she gets at the information.
In truth, there's so much learning going on continually that it's impossible to categorize it all into subjects or even to report it all. I'd be at it endlessly since the learning is endless! I find more than enough to report to the school district each quarter. In addition to the above, in the last few days we've been reading a story called Swallows and Amazons, fiction about some children who sail on their boats to spend the summer camping on an lake island a mile from home. We've been learning all about sailing and boat terms and parts. These were made more "real life" with the documentary MaidenTrip about the youngest girl (ages 14-16) to ever sail around the world. It was a great movie!! Just be aware there's some "language" on it....
She's also learned to make Stop Motion animation with Legos this summer and learned some iMovie skills; asked for a tool kit for her birthday and used it; taken pottery lessons; practiced yoga in adult yoga classes; gardened, made herbal medicines, and contributed to herbal videos; read all about pirates and marked the places on world maps that they lived and pillaged; read stories about the United Kingdom and then colored and labeled a map of the UK when she discovered our world map didn't label the individual nations in it; and done two drama camps performing in a skit and a play. What category would these amazing real life experiences go in? I won't include any of them in her quarterly reports because they were all summer learning experiences, but they could be categorized as art, home-ec or practical life skills, more art, PE, botany and/or practical life skills, social studies, and art again! In truth we've covered at least a full semester of learning this summer - though none of it "counts" for school. Additionally, NYS doesn't require any "practical life skills" or home ec until middle school.
This is what "unschooling" looks like. Because learning is not compulsory or mandated or forced a child never loses their curiosity, that innate drive to know. The drive that fuels the "why" of toddlerhood never ends. Learning is fun!