Thursday, 24 May 2012

Do it because it's fun

I've been reading a series of essays by Sandra Dodd who is well known in unschooling circles having unschooled her now grown children in the days before there were multiple internet support groups for it. One of the things she talks about is how parents need to deschool - to put behind then the things from school including the rhythms of the day and year, and also the categorisation of learning into subjects. Real life learning (as opposed to education) is much more fluid. As a home educating parent there's the temptation to do a mental tick box exercise when doing activities - like cooking can be maths, chemistry and of course home economics. The bottom line says Dodd is do it because it's fun and learning will happen. 

I spotted an activity on Pinterest for using cocktail sticks and mini marshmallows to build things. I thought it might be fun for my two as it held the possibility of pointy sticks (which are fun in their own right) and marshmallows - and who doesn't like a marshmallow. So I built a structure to show them what they could do if they wanted and they used skewers to eat marshmallows one at a time. 

It was fun. 

I'm sure I could tick some boxes on various educational skills but really who cares, it was sharp pointy sticks and sweets. 

To add to the balanced diet my kids eat (ahem) Isabel had the dog's full attention when she took her packer of crisps into his bed and declared it her new seat. He wasn't bothered as she was happy to feed him the odd crisp. And as you can see by the photo there is evidence of the dog helping himself to the chair on occasion.

I've been wanting to change things round in the front room for ages but I can't move the sofas or we'll end up with the dog standing on one to look out of the window so I had to content myself with moving the storage unit so that the jumble of toys too big to be put away can go in the other corner. It means we can actually get in the boxes with the toys in (Isabel had a lovely time with the music box and tried every beater in the box on the wooden drum). It also means that the overflowing dressing up box will tuck into the other alcove instead of spewing all over the floor - I fully expect to have to put all the clothes away on a regular basis still but at least they can be pushed out of the way.

We now have a big white space on the wall that needs filling but we're not short of pictures in this house so I will find something to go up there before long.

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