Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Thursday, August 20, 2009


We have been having lots of fun activities, and I'm trying now to download pictures; but it's not working for some reason. I will be posting pictures, though, as soon as possible. Taliesin and Nathanael are both enjoying their new unit studies and are creating some of their own, too! We've created friction with Mr. Grumpy's Motor Car - using toy cars, playdough, ice, and fish bowl gravel. We have found foods that wild animals eat in conjunction with Peter Rabbit. Just yesterday, we watched two baby ducklings for Make Way for Ducklings. Both Taliesin and Nathanael have been really into making junk robots in conjunction with Wall-E. And, of course, we've been doing lots and lots of art - both with the daycare kids and on our own. Last night, I found some really neat floor workbooks at Wal-Mart. I picked up a kindergarten one and a first grade one. I did not expect that Taliesin and Nathanael would take to them the way they have. Both of them have been doing the activities in both of the workbooks. Guess it shows that unschoolers do not "fall behind" as the critics worry will happen. Oh, and Taliesin has really gotten into treasures - thanks to the National Treasure movies. So am wanting to plan a big treasure hunt for the unschooling group. We have our Not Back to School Day coming up next month. So maybe we can plan a treasure hunt for a fall party.

The daycare is going very well - and most of the reason why I have not posted more often here lately. I am doing both first and second shift. I have eight children enrolled. There have been a few quirks to work out now and then; but the kids love coming here and really enjoy the activities we have. I'm trying to keep the daycare blog updated as much as possible also.

And next week is my big week - new college classes begin! I can't wait. I have been reading ahead. I have always had a big interest in the Books of Daniel and Revelation, so the class covering these two books is right up my alley. And I love what I'm reading in my differentiated instruction texts. So much of what they promote is very unschooly, and I have been incorporating many of the strategies into the daycare. I can't wait to really get started on these assignments!

BTW, I have a few of my summer math class assignments to post, also. So I plan to get those posted here within the next couple days also.


Monday, August 10, 2009

To Test or Not to Test

One issue that has arisen with my latest college class is the debate over testing. I, personally, do not see that testing is effective. In fact, it is counter-productive. With the fear of a test hanging over a child's head, (s)he is going to learn what is required long enough to pass the test. No real knowledge has been attained. No real learning has taken place. To me, observation and documentation is much more effective than testing. When I do learning activities with Taliesin and Nathanael or with the daycare children, we practice together and then I allow them to explore on their own. I make notes about how well they understand the concept. It is just so sad to me that people all too often do not realize that children will learn if they are given the opportunity to learn naturally, at their own pace. What do you think? I would love to hear others' opinions.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Everyone Loves a Parade

Taliesin on his 4-H float in this year's parade! (Taliesin is the 4th from the left).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Five in a Row

Recently, some of the daycare kids have been talking to Taliesin about school. - You know, things like, "If you went to a regular school, you would..." It's not that they have meant anything bad by it, it's just that school is what they are familiar with. So I asked Taliesin if he preferred to go to a regular school or if he preferred to stay home and do things the way that we always do. He told me he preferred to stay home. (I'm glad. Because I definitely would not ever want to send him to a public school, and we cannot really afford a private school right now. Guess we would have started with the homeschooling co-op and called it good - LOL). So I asked him if he would like to order a more school-like curriculum. He was so excited over that idea. So we ordered a volume of Five in a Row and purchased the books from Amazon. The books have been arriving over the past couple of weeks, and today we got the actual curriculum in the mail. Taliesin was thrilled! He immediately began some of the art lessons, of course. (Will get some pictures of his new artwork). He's been enjoying some of the language arts lessons and is in a hurry to start the unit study over the book Wee Gillis. It's one of his favorites. :^) And, of course, I'm letting him choose how he wants to do the activities, not following the curriculum religiously. Nathanael is even getting in on the action. He wants to do the activities over Make Way for Ducklings, his favorite book in the series. The first thing Taliesin said tonight after working on his new art projects was he wants to show the daycare kids tomorrow. I think it makes him feel good that he can show them the curriculum now. Not that it's that much different from what we've always done; but now it's more official to him, I think. Ah, such is child-directed learning. ;^)


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kelsey!

Speaking of bikes, this is Kelsey's new birthday present. But Kelsey can actually ride his from start to stop. LOL. Tomorrow night, when he's actually off from work; I'm taking him out to dinner. :^) Last night, we had a family movie night and went to see G-Force. Oh, and tomorrow he gets to walk with Taliesin in the parade that kicks off the fair. I'll be sure to get some good pictures!



Maybe I need some training wheels, too. :^)

Okay, so I'm determined to lose some weight and to get in better shape. And I'm thinking, "Bicycles! What a fun family activity!" So we invest in bikes for each of us. I forget the fact that I have not been on a bicycle since I was eight years old! I'm now thirty-four. Nevermind the fact that the last bicycle I had was sixteen inches with a banana seat. LOL. So I get this 24", 18 speed mountain bike. Glad I did not try for the 26" bike. I'm 5'2". Having a difficult time getting up on the bike. LOL I'm fine once I get going - until I have to stop. I've never had a bike with the brakes on the handle bars. It's an interesting adventure, and I am sure sore. Call it unschooling myself.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reading Party at the Library

It's that time of year again - time for the End of Summer Reading Party at the public library. Taliesin and Nathanael reached their reading goals, so they were able to join in on the fun!