What Our Kids are Learning

So many days I just work all day and then take the kids home and spend our evening together. I don’t always know what they did during the day and I seldom ask what they learned. I also do not remember what we talked about and what books were read.

This idea of keeping records is a change and it will take a while to get the habit. It also won’t be long until I can stop explaining our philosophy and methodology and just write down what was done.

Cassie: Does not read but she does read. She says she can’t read, and is intimidated by books paragraphs and sentences, but she knows the basics. I have said before that when she does get it and starts to read, she will be reading at a college level within a couple of years. What does college level mean? I always wondered what it said about college, that I was reading at that level in 5th grade. I think it means you understand what you are reading rather than reading the words and having no clue what it all means, Not a real big endorsement for college I guess.

Anyway, Cassie’s job is to learn to read and we give her stuff to read all day. Meantime, she is sharp and pays attention to what is going on around her. She picks stuff up and in the evening she usually comes to me and says, “Dad, is it true that …..” and she might fill in the blank with what she learned:

…Infections are caused by bacteria? …That Soy Sauce (our kitten) is old enough to have babies?…that doctors didn’t use to wash their hands and people died because of it? …That you can grow different fruit on the same tree?..That plants make their own food from sunshine?…And on and on.

Cassie also does math. She figured out something riding in my truck looking at the clock. It was 9:20 and she figured out that she didn’t look at the clock for 3 minutes because it was 9:17 when she last looked. So she figured it out on her own. I asked her what is 20 minus 17. She says she does not know how to subtract big numbers!

Eric reads. We have a huge variety of books and he takes advantage of it. He picks up random books and reads them. I used to do that in my high school class—put books out and hope kids pick them up. About 1 in 4 kids were interested in my eclectic collection. 3 of 4 sat down and started talking the instant they got to class.

Eric wants a friend. We talk about friendship and I teach him etiquette for friendship. Like don’t insult your friend even for fun. Like let the other guy talk. Be willing to play a game you don’t want to play so you can have your turn later. He has some friends but they always move away. He has a good friend and this boy likes playing with Eric and Cassie, but when the neighborhood kids are there or school buddies, they have more to talk about, so my kids get left out. Devin likes it when my kids are alone with him. They are special friends to him but only for times when the loud loud school friends are not in attendance.

Eric hates math so we try to do it in little bits. He asked me to help him with a video game he is designing. “I need to take advantage of your math skills,” he told me. Uh..OK, such as they are. I think I know where he gets his math weakness. Yesterday Colleen gave him math workbooks to do ‘cause he was bored his little sister was ill and slept all day.

He likes his world atlas. He is learning about lifestyles and standards of living in other parts of the world. He also continues to learn about the justice system via Phoenix Wright. Yesterday there was a murder in the news. He asked me a LOT of questions about police and investigations and …oh, everything. Drove me crazy. Cassie listened and learned.

Stephanie continues to work on her novel. She typed furiously for hours and hours and then lamented that she is so far behind in her novel project. I mentioned she wrote all day and all night. She replied that she was writing something else! So she has these projects going on. If she is writing, she is learning. Just ask a writer. How do you get to be a good writer? Write. And that’s what she does.

She continues to read to her siblings and explains things to them. It’s so cute—she holds Eric, who is huge. He is roly-poly as we put it. But very cuddly. So Steph sits on a chair with Eric in her lap and Cassie leaning on both of them. And they watch videos and listen to music and she reads stories on the screen. She also takes her turn in the answer seat so I don’t have to answer every single question.

I don’t remember what we did yesterday. What books they read, what they talked about, what each kid learned. But I know they continue to learn because they have a natural interest in the world around them. This generation has more access to more information and knowledge than anyone in history and I am happy that my children know and appreciate this. So many kids take it for granted and don’t even recognize that fact.

We found a tick on the dog’s head and Eric and I looked up a method for taking it out without leaving bits of tick-head in the dog. There was an explanation and a video. I followed instructions and the tick came right out. The little kids learned several lessons from this.

1. Every question has an answer and it’s probably on the internet.

2. Look it up.

3. Read the comments if applicable, which it was and comments were glowing.

4. Follow instructions—follow the recipe if you want good results.

Valuable lessons. Plus they learned about ticks and of course the conversation went to other kinds of parasites and what is a parasite and what is a host and what is the difference between a parasite and a symbiotic relationship. Come to think of it, had I attempted to teach this stuff to my high school class, they would have resisted and would have refused to learn it. Eric and Cassie learned a LOT.

Now it’s today and the world awaits their eager eyes and ears. Let’s see what they can learn.

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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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