We are currently at the beach, but since school started for most of our friends back home, and since we are going to be travelling through much of the fall anyway, we might as well get used to this roadschooling thing, eh, what?
I’m going to talk about our crazy home/road/not-really-un/schooling-at-all-let’s-face-it journey here and there not because I’m super proud of what we’re doing, because I’ve no idea what we’re doing, but more for the sake of hearing what you’re doing and benefitting from your experience.
- Since we are still in a bit of a transition, we’ve started with easy stuff – for all of us. That is, we’re not getting hardcore on our history/culture/art/science/language – all the focus of the fall – for a couple more weeks. Too much going on, too many in-and-outs, here-and-theres.
- So, “easy” means getting rolling with math and some language arts, first.
- After much dithering and input from lots of good people, I decided to just settle in regard to math and stick with their school’s curriculum, which is the EnVision program. Sort of controversial in some circles, with a unique pedagogy. I wasn’t crazy about it last year (the first year it was used), but it’s slowly growing on me, and I actually find working with the material one-on-one with them sort of interesting. Yes, I considered Singapore Math and feel like a slacker for not going with it – my boys are both good in math and enjoy it, so no excuses there. But given the built in challenges and priorities of the fall, it eventually hit me that it would be fairly insane to plunge them into a completely different and more challenging math program at this point. Especially since (as I keep repeating) they might be returning to school in January. So for now -Envision.
- Over the past two days, we’ve used what we’ve seen and experienced to talk about (and hopefully learn about): crabs & other crustaceans (read about them on the internet, and they drew and labelled a diagram), dolphins and other cetaceans (same kind of study before we went dolphin cruising today); sand dollars (Michael found a live one yesterday, and we looked it up to see the difference between and live and a dead one, and to learn how they eat and such. Have you ever held a live sand dollar? You can actually feel the little fuzzy..things..move about); the differences between oceans, seas & bays (explaining Mobile Bay); the Gulf Stream; Fort Morgan – especially the famous Civil War battle that occurred there – we visited the Fort today. (Tip: If you go in the summer — maybe don’t go in the summer. ); some constellations (standing on the beach in the dark last night with my Google Sky app on the phone); the Assumption of Mary; regular geography check-ups (“which way is north?” “what state is directly west of where we are?” ); estimating time by the position of the sun; what a “dauphin” is and subsequent to that, rehashing our understanding of the French presence in the area - since there was much confusion today over the fact that as we stood at Fort Morgan, we could see Dauphin Island, and later we were going dolphin watching. I suppose that whole episode also counts as enunciation lessons for everyone, as well.
- And they’re reading, of course. J: an Artemis Fowl book and M an abridged version of Journey to the Center of the Earth, which he assures me is nothing like the movie.
- Oh, and J also has this book on the physics of football, which he’s read through twice since yesterday and continues to glance over. I have a couple of football/math books at home which I’ll pull out when we get back. I had thought about letting him do a fantasy football team (it’s actually done in some schools as a part of math programs), but honestly, that would then necessitate him spending far more time on the internet than he does now – which is basically none, except occasional supervised forays onto Lego.com. So not yet.
- I’m getting this for myself, and have become an instant fangirl of Quinn Cummings.
So my smallish question for today:
I’m thinking about this. It seems to fit our style. Tell me about it, or anything similar that you do.