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Some folks would call it “Unschooling” or “Eclectic” homeschooling. But I like “organic”.
Phoebe, as I’ve mentioned before, has a good understanding of counting to 20. She was forgetting 12 but now seems to be over that little hump. She’s working on counting up to 30 but has trouble remembering 21. Once I remind her of 21, she jumps in and counts to 30.
I never set out to teach her to count. I started when she was a baby and I could count and kiss each delectable toe and finger and make her laugh. Then, I’d sing “5 little monkeys jumping on the bed!” complete with finger gestures and she’d laugh some more. That’s what I mean when I say that I taught her organically. It happened as a result of play.
I’ve read about Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason and other homeschool/preschool educational giants and the gist of everything I’ve read is “PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN! READ TO YOUR CHILDREN” and I’d like to add one more “ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN!”
The day that we make a mess and discover that yellow and red finger-paint turns orange when mixed together is a great day. We figured out that pink play dough and green play dough make kind of a fleshy color when mixed together. We make our own bubbles while washing hands and brushing teeth. We sing songs and act silly and still she learns something new every day.
I’m also working on what I call “THE ABSOLUTELY MUST READ TO YOUR CHILDREN LIST!” and I regularly add books from this list to our reserve list at the library. Once a week, I go, pick up our reserved books, and maybe another one or two for insurance, and bring them home. Everyday, in addition to the reading story or poem in our Calvert reading readiness work, we read one of the library books.
This week, we’re reading several of the “Llama Llama” books by Anna Dewdney including Llama Llama Mad at Mama.
We’re working on learning our home address and remembering everyone’s FULL name. We are memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance and a little prayer for the beginning of meals (Yes, that old standby “God is Great, God is good…”).
She’s very interested in writing and mazes, so we’re working on holding the pencil correctly and using logic to get through the maze. She’s also interested in words and we’re starting to do some sounding out of words when we read. We have a couple of workbooks that I pull things out of and printables here and there that we use to supplement our learning. But right now, they are all fun and she asks if we’re doing school almost every morning.
The one thing I don’t forget is that she’s four. Four years old. Still a little child. Still young enough for me to pick up and hold in my lap and tell her little stories. Still young enough to believe everything I say. So young and so full of the spirit of God without even knowing it. Too young to force into a chair and force knowledge into her head.
No, we’ll keep playing and she’ll keep learning.