Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Unschooling Homeschool Day

Yesterday the boys wanted to do school again, but after a busy holiday weekend, I didn't feel like doing our usual curriculum. I wanted to "play and have fun". So we had a school day that counts according to the PA Homeschool law, but we learned things through fun activities.

We began by playing a game called "Great States". The board is a map of the United States and there is information about each state included on the board. There are three different stacks of cards, a spinner and a timer. On each person's turn, you had to spin the spinner, which told you which stack to pick a card from and you handed the card to the person on your left and they would set the timer for 30 seconds and read the question on the card, and maybe show you something pictured on the card, and you had to find the answer before the time was up. If you found the answer and answered correctly, you kept the card, and the first person to collect 10 cards won. You could also play longer and make the winner the first person to collect 20 cards. It was fun and yet, as we played, the boys were learning United States Geography.

Next, we played a game of Scattegories -- all 12 lists! This, too, is fun and utilizes vocabulary skills.

For music, the boys thought this was a hoot! I have always been a fan of many different types/styles of music, as long as it doesn't involve screaming that the lyrics cannot be understood or cursing or vulgarity or singing about criminal activities and such. So, I have tapes of country, pop/rock, oldies, classical, American Indian, jazz, big band, rags, alternative, contemporary Christian, and hymns and worship songs, and soundtracks from movies and Broadway plays and of course, we have children's music in the house ever since the boys were young -- most of this they have outgrown.

So, anyway, I played one song from the soundtrack of the movie "Yentl", two songs from the Broadway production of "Jekyll and Hyde", two songs from an Andy Griffith hymns tape, three songs from an alternative tape by Laurie Anderson and four songs from a big band cassette of hits by the Andrews Sisters. We discussed each style of music and some of the lyrics after listening to each selection. It was fun and the boys thought some of the stuff was quite funny. Anthony especially thought the Andrews Sisters songs were funny. He said, "Nobody sings like that today."

Then the boys went out and rode their bikes for a while and then played wiffleball with a couple of the neighbor boys. This was gym class.

Finally, we ended the evening by playing a game (well most of a game) of Homeschoolopoly after we had done our family Bible study. This game is one of my favorites. I never cared much for regular Monopoly. I always thought it took too long to complete a game. But this homeschool version is a lot of fun, even though it takes just as long and is very similar. I guess it's just because I can relate to this version so much better.

Some people homeschool in this free spirit style daily, but I'm not comfortable with that. I do like to do it as a treat every now and then, and we always enjoy it. There are so many ways to accomplish an education when you have the freedom to choose through homeschooling.

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