Kelly asked if we take the month of December off of school so we can do fun activities like these. My answering comment grew and grew and I still wasn’t ready to hit the button, so I decided to make a post of it.
Our approach to schooling is very relaxed and thoroughly integrated into our daily activities. Almost any worthwhile activity has its teaching moments, even if you don’t want to get too “teachy” about it.
- In hanging the lights on the deck rail, the girls had to troubleshoot. They found burned out bulbs, loose sockets, and a bad fuse. In the process they learned about electrical circuits, fuses, and how incandescent bulbs work. This is something we’ve talked about before, but this was a refresher course.
- Cutting out snowflakes forces them to think analytically, trying to make them turn out the way they visualized, or visualize the way they’re going to turn out.
- Christmas cooking invariably involves math since we nearly always double or triple recipes, and it brings up many questions: How many teaspoons in a tablespoon? How many ounces in a cup? Instead of measuring 12 tablespoons, can we change it to cups? There are also many aspects of chemistry: How do baking soda, baking powder and yeast make things rise? What is the function of each ingredient in a recipe? Which ones must be measured carefully, and why? Which ones don’t need to measured carefully, and why not? What if we substitute ___ for ___?
- It’s becoming more and difficult for us to absorb entertainment without analyzing the worldview behind it and within it. This extends to Christmas music as well.
An active mind is always learning, whether or not the owner is planted at a desk or table with a pencil in hand. And since it’s Wednesday, let me just add that homeschooling works for me.