Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Walking Wednesday--What Can Be Learned

I really like this post on Simple Homeschool. Liked it so much that I had to share it on Facebook, and I don't do that often.
You see, I am homeschooling a first grade girl. In Pennsylvania, there is work to be done to prove your children are actually learning stuff. Yes, stuff is the technical term. They need to have either 180 days of instruction or 900 hours. It is slightly more detailed than that, but for my worrisome purpose that is all that anyone cares about here and now. Anyway, I plan to teach something everyday, something school like, but some days don't go as planned. For example, over the weekend you do something incredibly creative and then go to play in the snow in the still without power WV county you grew up in. Monday you wake up to realize that your house is a disaster, your children aren't sleeping because they are sharing a room because you're tearing down walls, you have guests coming on Thursday, and there is a leak in your tire which requires a trip to the tire place which doesn't make appointments for mothers with two little wiggles. So those plans don't go quite as planned.
I get a little paranoid about homeschooling and following the law on those days, and I wonder if I should practice counting days or hours just so I get in the groove for third grade.
And along comes this post . . .
What counts as homeschooling?

 With these two pieces of advice. 
  1.  Instead of asking ourselves “does this count as school?” we should be asking, “Is my child learning something worthwhile?”
  2. Some of us will need to mentally (or physically) check a box: museum field trip = history; letter-writing = language arts; going for a nature walk = science; finding and measuring every rectangle in the house = math. Don’t apologize if you need to keep track of these things in a formal manner. Some of us are wired that way.
The whole post is worth reading; really, go read it (after you finish reading mine{smile})

So I just thought I would make a list of the learning that happened today when nothing that really looked like school was happening.
  • we looked up the skeletal system and looked at the hip joint because Abigail wondered why Jacob was limping after wrestling with the angel
  • we talked about our call to love those we disagree with and to pray for our leaders regardless of how we feel about their decisions
  • we reminded ourselves to remember God, and let His praise bring us joy
  • we practiced handstands and back-bend kick-overs talking about how we need to keep our muscles strong
  • we discussed motivation in a story when Abigail was trying to understand why Suzy Holmes would run awa
  • we looked at animal footprints
  • we talked about the chickadee and why it can stay through the winter but the wren can't (one eats seeds while the other eats insects)
  • we identified a sycamore tree without leaves and 
  • we categorized leaves based on shape -pinate, palmate, parallel-with a touch down on compound leaves
  • we read about change (The Pumpkin Patch Parable), crocodiles, and the Nez Perce Indians prior to 1776.
I should say Nature Walk Wednesday is part of our curriculum so it was sorta school, but what came out was more than I expected. (And that isn't covering the pre-school aspect of it. Would anyone else agree that getting a three year old boy to wear a coat outside when it is 40degrees should count as a school subject?)

Now we are going to clean a room, read silently, play a few games, and make dinner. I think today can count.

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