Collage Friday

It's June - HUZZAH!

Like most weeks around The Joys of Home Educating we are non-stop fun!  Last weekend was Molly's ballet recital. She ROCKED IT!   Of course a little reception was in order afterwards!  We also had a few family movie nights outdoors!


We were invited to help celebrate a good friend turning 5 last weekend!  Strawberry Shortcake was the theme and she was so cute in her costume!  


Home Educating.....

We leave for a week long camping vacation in a week and in preparation for that I had emailed a woman about a homeschooling program that will be going on the same time we are at the campgrounds (who knew, right!)  

Anyway, it seems that their program is "closed" to additional participants, but could not hurt to ask, right?!  This woman, in emailing me back, informed me that "her group" of home schoolers are a "radical unschooling" group. 

 This intrigued me. I am familiar with "unschoolers" but the term "radical" got the best of my curiosity. So I took to the internet and did some research. 

 I was not surprised by much of what I found, but some of it had all sort of questions popping up in my head.   One of the areas in which I had some 2nd thoughts on was the "self directed" learning.  Radical Unschoolers believe in letting their children lead the education on a daily basis....typically no workbooks or curriculum, just life....letting math, reading, science etc. come naturally with self learning and researching.  

I wanted to try a little social experiment of my own.  Starting on Monday I allowed the children (not letting in on my plan) to "play" and be "on their own" for most of our typical learning day.  

Zachary kept asking "when are we having school?"  (which I ignored his questions and finally stopped asking)
The girls never asked.  

What I found was surprising to me.  I thought for sure the girls would play dolls or dress up or something together. To my surprise, Molly started a loom project alone...Zachary was into a mega LEGO building project and Sammie was "reading" in all corners of the house.  I saw some art projects being worked on and some "research" on the internet going on (with regards to our snake skin that we found in the play yard).  Zachary read 4 books in a week (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series) and Molly wrote a book on Art.  Could this be happening without my direction and my teachings?  I guess so!





Now I am not saying that we are switching up our usual routine and becoming "radical unschoolers" but I am open to the idea of letting go of the "normal routine" now and then!  For more information on radical unschooling here are a few sites that were informative:

http://www.jennifermcgrail.com/ ( a new favorite blog of mine now!)

something I know you would love to check out:  Jennifer McGrail's blog...has this great Post on socialization - you wont be sorry you read THIS POST!


What's happening outside this week....


I could not believe my eyes when I saw this HUGE Bug, that looking like a hummingbird (same size as one also), fly up to our flowers (upper left and bottom right) .  I was so glad I was able to get a few good shots of it before it quickly flew away.  I have never heard of the Hummingbird Moth before...  We also found some other great bugs...a wasp flying...an ant pulling a dead bee (upper right)...a nest has been started in an old birdhouse that Zachary made. 



An additional shot I got of the Hummingbird Moth. Love this one!

On Tuesday I saw that the weather forecast was looking excellent! Decided at last minute to book a hotel room and take the kids to the Ocean for a few days!  I have been waiting for the perfect chance to get back to the Jersey Shore and support the local economy!  Of course, we had a blast! 

Day 1 - Beach fun!  Sand castles..swimming (in very cold water...), playing! Sammie is investigating her shells with her magnifying glass.



There was an outside stage/theater across from our motel..girls saw it and said..oh we can do a show for you momma.  Of course they can...Look at the height Molly gets on her ballet spins!  That girl can dance!


We stopped at a Veterans Memorial to pray for a bit. Reflect and count our blessings.  Zachary wanted to be alone when he prayed..touched me...(think I am doing something right..)

Day 2 - Rides, games and the Aquarium
  

What a great time we had...love going in the "off" seasons...not too crowded and plenty to do!  (no lines either!)

This weekend - Date Day for the hubby and myself!  Celebrating 13 years together!  Off to the winery for some music, great food and fun!   Sunday - Last day of Sunday School and Zachary receives his bible that day in front of the Congregation! HUZZAH!


Joining Mary and more friends over at Homegrown Learners for Collage Friday!  Won't you join me?

Homegrown Learners

Also sharing at:


The Homeschool Village








Comments

Mary Prather said…
Melissa ~

Your comments about unschooling are interesting. We have waffled at varying points in time - and the times where I have just left my kids alone and unschooled them were very productive. I understand, however, the struggles you are probably having about this -- I'm praying for the direction of your homeschool and for you to listen to God as you guide your children.

So many beautiful collages this week! Have a wonderful camping trip! Love you!
Jessica said…
Love your week! So much fun and love and family! Thanks for the links. We are "relaxed" homeschoolers but I really hate to label us because we don't fit in any slot perfectly. One link had a link to amber necklaces. I let my girl wear mine and it has disappeared. I need to order a new one and they have just what I want. Love it when I stumble upon something that I need when I least expect it.

Enjoy the weekend and the rest of your trip.
Theresa Novak said…
Love all the photos! Looks like a great time was had at the beach!!

We have been experimenting with more interest-led things. Like you, I see pros and cons to both and we are striving to strike a happy medium where the girls have time to explore their passions and interests and we also spend some time on curriculum/things I think are important.
Amber Hockman said…
I LOVE the beautiful, busy fun of your week!

I, also, have been intrigued by the idea of Unschooling. I wonder if you could do one day a week of "unschooling" and the restw ould be more "traditional?" I am toying around with this possibility myself, but I know I could never be a total unschooler.

BUT, that IS the beauty of Homeschooling, isn't it? Being able to teach out children in the way that best suits our family! :0)
Karen said…
Melissa I love everything about this post. Your adorable ballerina just made me smile. We basically do 'unschooling' I say basically because Keilee WANTS textbooks so I get them for her. But it is all entirely up to her.:) Keilee basically does what she wants to do. She is a list girl so she tells me what she wants to do and I make a list. It used to surprise me at how much she WANTED to do. The TV is never on at our house until after dinner, although occasionally she watches a documentary. I am familiar with most of the sites you mention.

I have never seen a Hummingbird Moth!! WOW!! It is huge. Love the pictures of the 'show' the girls put on for you! Beautiful...
Chris said…
Wow, Melissa! I love this post..so informative, so chock full of awesome pics! great work...Love your blog.
This is one reason I adore hops...
I never would've found you if not for Mary's Collage Friday!

Thank you for the great post and for stopping by my blog to say HI
I started out with a plan for last year and ended up unschooling more than half of it. I find unschooling to be fascinating, but I wouldn't want to try it unless we got rid of most of the screens in our home (which hubby won't allow). I love your collages!

Enjoy your camping trip!!
Sharla said…
Wow! What a week you've had! I love your pictures and your daughter sure does get a lot of height on her jump.

The family movie night looks like a lot of fun too.

I have several friends who are "radical" unschoolers and it works really well for them. I was somewhat of an unschooler with my older boys but my younger kids all need more structure than that so I am back to more traditional homeschooling with a bit of unschooling thrown in there some days!
Jessy said…
Molly's SO cute in her ballet tutu! Ballet and jazz lasted about 10 seconds with my girl. LOL She's too "tomboy" for tutus!

Good for you for embracing something new with your learning! I'm trying to be more "delight directed", but "unschooling" doesn't feel "right" to me. (Perhaps because in my other life I was a public school teacher?) When we have "unschool" weeks, my kids want to watch lots of TV, play video games, and sleep in late! LOL

What a fun vacation! Love the beach photos! (You take great photos BTW.)

Happy 13th anniversary!
Lara Molettiere said…
Melissa, your posts are always a blessing and inspiration! Unschooling seems to be a great way to learn without "normal" class. I've been reading about delight directed learning, and it looks like a great path. I know you will figure out how to merge it all!
Hi Melissa! I think you are doing a LOT right!! I loved reading about your week. The children look so joyful! Love your experiment into radical unschooling. I agree, I think it does us all good to change things up now and again - stops us getting caught in a rut and opens us to new things that might just work.
Have a great week!
Lucinda

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