Monday, April 23, 2012

A glance at what our 8 year old has been doing

This is somewhat of a copy and paste of a post on a homeschool forum I made. I have since had time to read it over and make changes/additions that were needed. 


Please keep in mind that I only wrote the subjects down as if I had been looking at what she's been up to through schoolish glasses. I'm sure I left a ton out. I don't look at our days trying to find the education value anymore. It's just unavoidably always there. It is impossible to learn nothing. Sandra Dodd has a funny little thing called Learn Nothing Day to which I've linked at the bottom of this post.



Summer's curriculum (8):  


Reading: 

The Bible, Star wars and a few Magic Treehouse books, two of the Twilight Movie Guides, recipes, directions, signs, grocery lists, penpal letters, emails, and magazines. She reads her brother a bedtime story each night and helps read him game directions as they play. They spend time together each day or night with her reading him some of his Lego Star wars books and Star Wars movie guides. She also looks up in a safe online search, on her kindle fire, things she wants to know about some of their favorite characters or things about their costumes.
She likes listening to older sister Skylar summarize books for her (ones she doesn't want to read on her own). And then she asks questions to find out more.

Some of this could fall under listening skills and computer skills.


Science:


She's been covering various science topics out in our backyard, such as gardening, catching bugs with the bug vacuum, observing the stars (astronomy) and clouds (weather) and talking about them with Bry. She's also covered prosthetics, rock collecting, gem discovery and digging, birds, various aspects of animal care, cooking and baking, health, bacteria. We take nature walks, talk about the upcoming weather, go to the park when it's not to busy, climb trees and pick flowers. She often goes out and cuts roses and other flowers to decorate the table. And will put vases of flowers in our bedrooms or in our bathrooms as a surprise.
We try to go observe animals in person once a week. Many times we end up watching videos or digging further into something we saw. And we watch you tube videos on anything they might ask about. Today we are watching one on making Tar after the kids asked me about that while driving about yesterday.


Fashion design / Cosmetology: 


She's interested in fashion and likes to pick out clothes for Ember and Decklin to wear each day. She takes great pride in helping them get ready for the day and bringing them down to surprise us with the outfits and hair styles she did. She also likes to play around with doing fancy make up from a make up kit book she got for Christmas. Baby sister likes to be the model.





Math: 

Math is something she covers a lot, in the form of using, saving and planning her allowance, playing games like Harvest Moon, Tap zoo, Sims Kingdom and Star wars, (in those she has to practice time management, money management and financial transactions). Measuring in recipes, as well as patterns and matching via dressing herself and younger siblings, picking out patterns that match to decorate our family room and her room, patterns while setting the table, measuring laundry detergent, she also covers percents, division and multiplication via daily encounters. We are reading Life of Fred at night as a bedtime story for any of the kids that want to sit in for that. Not because I have a desire to specifically cover math at this time, just because they are a fun series to read and all the kids enjoy the stories. 
She creates/builds playsets, with varying items she picks up. One might be for the barbie's or another for her castle people, or the lego people for Decklin.
She builds a lot with pattern blocks and legos and uses play money here in the house and does a lot of puzzles on her kindle fire and jigsaw puzzles in person. We are saving for a house so she is taking part in that as well as the family spending money portion of our budget.
We play princessopoly a lot, so that covers a lot of making change and money transactions.

We have baskets of pattern blocks, bristle blocks, crayons and coloring books and other things which I change out from time to time. I found that if something is strewn on the table 95% of the time one of the kids grabs for it. It may be while waiting for a meal, or while waiting on others to finish eating, or while keeping me company in the kitchen while I cook.



History: 


This would be covered via the bible since talking about God and the bible is something very natural in our home and history is essentially His Story. I read a lot about the life of Jesus so we talk about that often. And Bry is taking a class at church which he shares with us. But other topics covered lately have been, indians, slavery, women's suffrage, modern times, Jane Goodall, Eleanor Roosevelt, The Great Depression and the varying topics of history my 10 year old reads about and shares with her. Skylar reads about history a lot and Summer loves to hear her stories.

Writing: 



She is writing a story for Decklin, that would cover creative writing, art (drawing), writing in general, spelling, and reading. She's doing an outline first.
She knows how to look up words she's having trouble with in either the dictionary or the Star Wars books we have when she needs help with a character name or something game specific. Or to ask Bry or myself for any help she needs. 
She also writes in a journal, responds to penpals (though I think she is closing the chapter on the penpals she had. She does not hear from them enough and she gets tired of writing and waiting lengthy periods to hear back.). She also writes emails to family, makes lists, writes down plans and reminders for things.


Arts and crafting: 


Latch hook, clay, drawing with chalk in the backyard, painting, working with playdough, clay and other modeling mediums.


Character qualities:


These we cover through the way we treat each other in our home and others outside our home.


Phys ed: 


We have water blaster fights, water balloon fights, play indoor Frisbee, walk, run, swing, ride scooters, hit golf balls, throw foam golf balls at each other in a golf ball fight. When we go to the park she likes to roll down and run down the hills. 




Chores: 

The kids don't have chores, but I do. I do a weekly clean up every Friday. And she helps out a lot. I ask, if anyone would like to help, they are all free to say no as well. But most often she enjoys helping in the kitchen. She takes pride in making the counter and tables look neat and tidy and cleared off. 




If I see something in my travels online or in real life that may interest her I will save it, buy it, take note of it. Sometimes I'll get it and sprinkle it about, sometimes I get it and give it right to her, sometimes we talk about it to see if it's something she'd be interested in. It depends on what it is. 
This week I downloaded a huge bunch more apps on her kindle for her. They had games that are her game type of preference so I put those on for her and then a few that just looked neat so I put them on and she could add them to her fire if she wanted to. They finally had Oregon Settler, which I love on my Iphone. So now both girls and I have it to play and can chat while we are managing out towns. 


Here is some great info on Sandra Dodd's page about an unschooling curriculum


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