Saturday, April 17, 2010

Learning to Learn

Monday was one of those homeschool days that I love: only a little seat work and a whole lot of learning. This is not what every day looks like-- we generally do a lot more seat work-- but I love days like this. I want to do more non-seat learning and less re-creating school around the kitchen table learning, although that has its place.
One of our main goals in homeschooling is to teach our kids to love learning and know how to learn independently, rather than just teaching them stuff. I thought I'd give you a glimpse, even if there were only a few pictures taken.

So, here is some learning that took place on Monday (and yes, it has taken me all week to write this short post. You see why I don't blog much these days?):
  • Kimball and Henry practiced the piano
  • All the boys did a chore and cleaned their rooms
  • We had early morning devotional with the entire family (we read 1-2 verses each from the Book of Mormon and sing our Hymn of the Week, then have family prayer.)
  • We had Book of Mormon study with just Kimball and Henry. This is one of my favorite times of the day. I frequently feel during our discussions that this is a big reason that homeschooling is right for us. We use Scripture Study for LDS Families and it has promoted wonderful gospel discussions and testimony building and bearing experiences. It gives me a chance to hear what my boys think about when they read the scriptures and what they feel. You need this book for your family, whether you homeschool or not!
  • We had a history lesson about the Rus (the first Russians) and about the first Russian prince to unify the Rus: Ivan the Great, and his grandson, Ivan the Terrible. After we read and discussed what our history book had to say (Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages), we pulled out Jared's matryoshka of the major Russian leaders through time and found the Ivans.
  • Since it was a rainy morning and our library book on CD is overdue, we decided to pop some popcorn, listen to our book, and work on a jigsaw puzzle of Russian matryoshki. It turned out to be a pretty hard puzzle, and the boys finally decided to do some math facts worksheets while we listened and I worked on the puzzle with Bronwen's "help".
  • Bronwen, Henry, and Ian all had gymnastics class, Bronwen's in the morning (Nana took her this week) and the boys' in the afternoon (Papa took them this week). Often I take them and we try to do some schoolwork in the form of memorization or free reading while we are there, but it is so nice when a helpful grandparent drives and I can continue learning with the others in a less distracting atmosphere.
  • I have started doing an activity/learning time with Bronwen (and Ian when he's home) called "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus." We sit on the floor and sing a couple of songs about Jesus, then look at a picture from the Gospel Art Kit that depicts something from the Savior's life and we talk about it.
  • While the other boys were at gymnastics, Kimball did some research online about snails and slugs. We have a real problem with them in our newly planted garden, and he decided to do a research experiment: to try out three different traps or deterrents and see which was the best. So he figured out which he would use and went to work making it happen in the garden. When the boys got home, they were enthusiastic about taking part in laying out slug traps of oatmeal and crushed egg shells.
  • They watched an Eyewitness video on Volcanoes, which Kimball studied a couple of weeks ago.
  • We went to the library and picked out books on their chosen independent research projects for the week (Henry's was martens and Kimball's was snails and slugs). We already have plenty of fiction for the big kids at the moment, but we picked up some picture books and some books about plants and soil for Ian to supplement the kindergarten science curriculum. (Just so you remember, Ian goes to public school for kinder this year.)
  • Ian and Bronwen dug (in a spot that will someday be a flower and herb bed but is now just weeds), looking for roots.
One of these days, I will get to writing a post or two about the why we chose to homeschool and the reasons that we love it. People have been asking me for two years to write such a post . . .

If you are interested in a follow-up to Jared's birthday, check the comments section.


Rebecca said...

I love it. What a lovely, relaxed homeschool learning time!

mindyluwho said...

I would say that this post is a prime example of why you chose to homeschool and why you love it.

Plenty of time to spend incorporating gospel truths into everyday life.

Allowing and encouraging your children to learn about things that are interesting to them.

Fostering a love of learning that will spill over into their more scholarly years.

Etc. Etc.

I've fallen off the boat lately and I'm inspired by your post!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing!!!

Jaye said...

i need to be home taught at Michal's