March 1st

My boss gave us a small acoustic guitar. Cassie has decided to learn to play. So another project we will be following is her efforts to learn guitar.

I am continually amazed at how musical our 4 youngest kids are. Kevin, who is now 25 years old, described music as boring and repetitive. He really did not listen to music very much. When he started hanging out with high school friends and work buddies, he went to a few concerts and happy hours, but I don't think he buys record albums.

Now Adam plays piano and guitar, self taught. And he also is taking professional guitar lessons now. Adam writes his own music and he plays it track by track and produces the songs on his computer. Some of the tracks are electronic, from his computer, and others are played by him into a microphone. He listens to a bizarre variety of music and styles, an interest he passes to his younger siblings.

Steph listens to music whenever she can. She likes songs with singing, especially female vocalists. The little kids are enthralled with all kinds of music. When we first listened to Supper"s Ready, (a 25-minute song by Genesis from their 70's era with Peter Gabriel) Eric said, "This band could wreck any song!". But now they listen to it again and again and enjoy its weirdness. Listening to music brings up such far-reaching discussions in the car.

Today Colleen will spend some time with Eric and Cassie, going over a science workbook with some doo-dads for experiments or demonstrations. Too tired to get into it last night. Last night's lesson was about mamma cat who is supposed to have kittens, but is holding on to them, refusing to give birth. The kids think they will wake to kittens, but the cat canceled the labor. This has been a handy way to teach about the obvious biological implications. Animals are a big part of our family life and our children really love and are fascinated with animals. So birthing is a big deal. Stepanie explained the process to them last night. She said she watched when Connie had her kittens, and she felt sick all day. She encouraged them to give her space and quiet. So they were content to let big sis describe the ordeal.

We agree with research that shows kids who have pets score higher in certain areas of responsibility, compassion, oh I can't remember all the research, but you get the point. Having pets is educational.

Research also shows that music makes the brain grow. Pets and music. These themes run rampant in our homeschool.

Academics: I was working so I do not know what books the children read yesterday or what worksheets or exercises they did. I spent 15 minutes helping Eric practice adding and subtracting in his head and using a trick to round the numbers to nearest ten so he can get a ballpark figure to ensure the answer makes some sense. It also helps get the answer.

Example: 23 - 11 = ?

What is 20 minus 10? Uh, ten. I didn't tell him add the ones because that makes too much sense and he learned that in books already. He is still terrible at math, so I will encourage him with success. So yeah, 20 - 10 = 10. And 23 -11 is 12.
A harder one. 33 minus 24.
30 - 20 = 10. It took a couple of tries, but Eric got that it is 9. Eventually it will click. Then he will be OK and he will be able to figure out what he needs to know. I give him little pop quizzes with easy math questions to build his confidence. At this point, a mental block is in the way and if you give him too much hard stuff, he will give up in despair. So I take it slow and look for opportunities to let him figure out easy things. He is smart, so when the block goes, his math will improve.

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We have decided to start this journal to keep track of our children's life lessons learned in our homeschool journey. We believe that as parents we are accountable for our own children's education. It is up to us to make sure we prepare them to be active and responsible citizens, not a drain on society. So this blog will be a place where we can share our daily lessons and activities that we incorporate into our homeschool.

About Me

Mother to 9 children, 5 on earth and 4 in heaven.
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Christian Unschoolers
Unschooling is learning as you live life. All of life involves learning. This is what we "teach" our children.


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