Homeschooling in December

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.

Kelly,
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.
Examples:

  • 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.

PS. I just got on the Vision Forum website and saw that they have several best-sellers and some of our very favorite toys included in their 50% Off  Sale with flat $5 shipping til Friday.  Good stuff!

Comments

  1. I totally agree about kids just learning all the time. We had a huge discussion about windmills on our Thanksgiving trip this year because we drove through a county that had literally hundreds of windmills to generate electricity. It was such a great way to learn about a fun science topic — all while driving to my Grandma’s house!

  2. My kids learn the same way. Ya know what I need…tips on keeping the house organized. I am expecting my 6th in may. How do you keep the house up? With so many, the laundry piles up as much as the dishes. True the children all have chores, but they seem like it is drudgery.

  3. Great post! (I actually just did a homeschool post today, too!) I know what you mean, I had wanted to do a similar post when we got home from vacation, in September, as my boys learned SO much more by living life on vacation, than they do when they are at the table doing papers! Cooking, observing nature, playing games… I definately think I am an advocate of “unschooling”, but my structured nature gets in the way and wants to do curriculum! (I try to compromise with myself! Ha!)

  4. I am really enjoying your blog! I’m glad I found it and hope to spend some time reading more. I especially love your header – what a great picture!!! 🙂

  5. I use the same philosophy in my homeschooling. It’s amazing how much kids learn just from being exposed to daily (or seasonal) activities.

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