While I have been sorting drawers in my drawer a day project, (exactly half way, 34 down and 34 to go). Also, I have finally got out of my post end of year mallaise and I am starting to sort schoolbooks, unpack books from alternate years and so on. This week I am sorting out the hardware – books and science stuff and next week I will sort through the paperwork, files, workbooks and journals.
Here is the before!
And here is the after, the gaps in the shelves are waiting for our school books to come sailing across the ocean to us and I fill them with boxes that are easy to put away when the books arrive. You can be sure if I leave the gaps empty that entropy will fill them for me and there will be no room for the school books when they finally arrive… Anyway this bookcase is a Sonlighters dream. Every year we buy the next core for Hood 1 and any small tweaks that are needed for previous cores for the other Hoods.
So here are se7en things the Hoods are up to and why I am not dashing back to formal school. These projects are all self-imposed and why I firmly believe in giving kids nothing to do for extended periods of time. Just look what they fill it with!
- Reading: Straight after lunch everyone reads for a bit, their own books and one of us has merrily gone from easy readers to chapter books without even noticing.
- Constructing: A new tree house with sea views has gone up and is obviously meant to stay!
- Sewing: My kids are digging in the scrap box and after, dare I say years of waiting for my help, they are finally sewing their way through the Klutz Book of Sewing without me. Honestly, I am glad that I left it until they are ready to figure it out themselves (even if it is in desperation!) because there are few things worse than a project carefully made by a parent that the child has sat beside and watched – I am all for honest arts and crafts.
- Programming: Hood #2 is working his way through The Learning to Program Manual from Pragmatic Programmers.
- Recorder: There is a great surge in recorder playing as they march their way through this book:
Some people are even playing Zoob recorders, and I am learning to breathe through the squeaks as they get better and better… not to mention learning to read music as they go along.
- Chess: The big guys are finally using this book together and learning to play Chess with a purpose and a little bit of strategy. For years they have played as if they are playing checkers but finally the penny seems to be dropping.
This book is internet linked and takes you to brilliant Chess pages for kids, they not only teach but give them a chance to sharpen their skills. Here’s the link to the best beginner site in the book, and here is a link to their pages for getting started just to wet your appetite.
- Photography: There is a huge surge in photography enthusiasm… and we have managed to do a whole photography project without ever feeling like we are “doing school.” We have had so much fun with this – all of us, that I will have to give it it’s own post – there is just too much to cover in a paragraph… So watch this space and brace yourself for a weekend challenge because we are planning one!
And I have finally finished The Rose of Sebastopol from my Virtual Bookcase. I took far too long to read it and maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as her previous book The Alchemists Daughter. Time to read a new book and I am grabbing The Excellent Wife off my shelf – I have bought this book so many times, so many people say its great – and every time I get it I have given it away. So I should quickly read it before this one wanders out the door as well!
So that’s what se7en get up to when they aren’t in school. I make a conscious effort to get busy myself so that they are left to do whatever needs to be done for themselves. This is simply because I think one of the classic homeschooling mistakes that is so easy to make is to “always be teaching and directing” because your kids are always in school. I enjoy the discipline they learn from “doing school” but I love leaving them to their own devices and seeing what they come up with in between trips to the beach, hanging out with friends and chilling beside the pool.