Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School is in full swing

We have eased our way back into schooling.  The children began their studies the first of August, but we didn't follow a close schedule.  In fact, we really don't follow a strict schedule at all during the year.  We meld life and school into one.  However, I do make sure we focus on the basics (math, language arts, spelling, reading comprehension, and writing) minimum of four days a week.

Little Man working on a math lesson.

Egee concentrating on a spelling lesson.

The remaining subjects of history and science are explored all the time.  History is read about and then seen in many field trips.  The field trips bring it to life for the children and they remember so much more!  Science at this age is all about exploring and discovering.  The 'why' factor is the impromptu lesson.  When they ask 'why does the ______ do _____?', we look it up and read about it.  That usually leads to more discussion and more questions and observations.  Isn't that what science is all about?  The scientific method starts with a question.

The best education is one that can be taken with you where ever you go.  My children are learning that learning doesn't have to take place in a school or even at the kitchen table.  We learn in the car, waiting in line, on vacation trips, the swimming pool, the backyard, at the dojo, etc.  These are some of the best places!  It just reinforces that life is a constant learning experience.

Egee is great at looking up answers to questions she has.  Of course providing she has internet access!  We are a very techie family.

They both get in the mood to 'do school work' at weird times and grab their workbooks and complete a few pages.  Little Man decided one Saturday evening he needed to learn his phonics better.  He snatched up his workbook and a pencil, then came running for me to watch him complete a few pages of lessons.  Learning for him is a now experience.  When he is ready, he is ready and we grab the opportunity and run!

The one thing I have started to notice is how my children problem solve.  Egee is very direct in her method.  She in one way is very one-dimensional.   Little Man on the other hand explores the problem from all angles.  He will work and work to figure out a problem, while his sister gets frustrated if her first attempt did not meet success.  I watch them play video games together.  Egee becomes frustrated at Little Man when he doesn't take her advice to solve the problem.  After the initial, 'you are doing it wrong', phase of frustration, she then starts to watch her brother problem solve.  It may take him many attempts.  He tries out various approaches, but usually figures it out fairly fast.  Egee is then amazed at how he solves the problem.  I am hoping his problem solving skills wear off on her!

Well, here is to a another year of success!