Generally we don’t adhere to a timetable of weekday, weekend and school holiday. Generally we follow a schedule of our own making, and recognise that learning takes place at anytime of the day or night, and we seek opportunities to learn or teach whenever they are presented to us. In April, however, circumstances were such that we decided to have a rest from school, when everyone else was having their school holidays as well. This meant that resuming our “school work” coincides with the return to school for those in the mainstream, and the beginning of Term 2.
Today I was able to take an hour and reorganise my office, and run through what we have achieved and covered in the last 4 months. This gave me a pretty good indication of just how much work and effort Miss 5 has put into her days, and how much she has flourished, given the opportunity to have control of her own learning. Obviously the things she does are on par with her age and development levels, and obviously there is an amount that is facilitated by me as her ideas and abilities may not coincide with each other. But her ideas, and her direction, and her subject matter, as well as the time of day and amount of time spent on her learning; are all hers to decide. I also understand that there is a percentage of society that can not accept that a child of 5, or any child for that matter, will – when given autonomy to choose – willingly make the decision to sit down and learn one subject or other. I can only say that it has been my experience – and the experience of every homeschooler, unschooler and teacher that I have met or spoken to – when interest, passion and encouragement are present, a child will definitely, absolutely, without a doubt, do exactly that 😀
So after I had organised the office and filed away Miss 5s work from last “Term”, I sat down with her over lunch and discussed how she thought things were going. I asked her if she liked what we were doing. I asked her what her favourite bits were, and what she thought she might like to do differently, and then we talked about setting goals for the rest of the year. I had to explain to her what I meant by a “goal”, and she understands it as being something that she would like to finish, something she would like to be able to say “look what I’ve done”, and with a deadline of Christmas time. I was about to write the goals down on a piece of paper to put in our work folder, when she asked what I was doing. I explained to her that if I wrote the goals down, it would make them more real and we could refer to them down the track, to make sure that we remember what we wanted to achieve, or “finish”, and to make sure that we are motivated to keep working towards finishing.
(Before I go on, some background information: Miss 5 is aware that I write a blog and that we have a facebook page, I’ve told her that our Moderator needs to see what we’re doing and how well she’s progressing, as part of our “reporting” to the Department of Education. We are a pretty tech heavy family, so she understands that doing things online make it easier for everyone concerned. We’ve started to use the term report as an umbrella term to indicate recording something for the blog or the facebook page, and if I’m being honest, Miss 5 does really kind of like the fact that people read about her. She says it’s like being famous XD)
Our next conversation looked like this:
Miss 5: Why don’t you put it in the report? That way our school Margaret (moderator) can read about it, and all of my friends (by which I think she means fans 😉 ) can read about it.
Me: That’s a good idea, sweetie. Maybe I should.
Miss 5: I could do it.
Me: You could do it?
Miss 5: Yes. I could do it. I could write a report. Well, you know, I could tell you what I want to say and you could write it. Because I can’t write yet. But it would be my report. And I can tell my friends (fans) about homeschool and what I want to finish this year. Can I Mum? Can I do it?
So without further ado, I am pleased to present my guest blogger, Miss 5 😀
I am 5.5 years old and I am doing Homeschool. I really like homeschool because I get to spend more time with Mummy, and because I get to be with my two sisters.
I like learning how to write, and I like playing new games. I love going outside to play and I don’t have to sit on a chair all day.
At normal school, I think, no one gets to go on a hike or a bush walk and chase the birds anytime they want. Which makes me a bit sad.
So far I have learned how to do more of my numbers, and I have learned about spiders and I have done lots of cooking.
My favourite thing that I have done in homeschool has been Chocolate Day. It was the best day EVER! I don’t think kids who do normal school would have a chocolate day, I think maybe the teacher would say they would not be allowed to eat chocolate and candy at school.
The BFG has been my favourite book, and it can write B.F.G, because that’s really easy. I am looking forward to learning about space stuff and going to the library, and maybe we can go to Adventure World for homeschool (this is a blatant attempt to get me to agree to a day at a theme park – which is closed for the winter season!)?
My three goals for this year are:
1) Learn how to read.
2) Learn to do woodwork and build a cubby house with my Daddy.
3) Make some of my own clothes and learn how to do tie-dye, on some T-shirts.
I really love homeschooling lots and I want to keep doing it.
One proud and happy Mama, right here 🙂