Interest Led

Last week we started our new, relaxed Winter school schedule.

My goal is to free up our days to spend time exploring our new state, visit with family while they are in town, and enjoy the unbelievably nice weather while still covering the basics.  We are still doing math, reading, and creative writing, and a unit here or there, but that's it for structured lessons.  Last week we were able to wrap up table work each day within an hour, leaving an almost absurd amount of time to do as we please.  It was nice.

I have some fun field trips planned for the next few months too.

We started by hitting up Sea Life Aquarium in Mesa.

The kids have been to the Georgia Aquarium a few times, which is easily five times the size of Sea Life, but they loved this place.  I was kind of skeptical when I realized the aquarium is in a mall, but the smaller exhibits really caught the kids interest.  We spent a little over an hour exploring then attended a homeschool class on kelp.

Josie was so inspired by our trip that she stayed up late that night working on a sea creatures book.

Those who know Josie know that writing has been a struggle, so when she came out at 10 to show us her four, full page book, complete with spot on handwriting, I was pretty excited!  The next day she insisted we go to the library to get sea creature books which she proceeded to spend the next two days copying facts over into her own book.

She even illustrated some of the pages with our Draw, Write, Now books.

And not to leave her arts and crafts skills behind, she bought some felt and yarn and has been sewing her own stuffed animals.  So far she's done a dolphin, a shark, and a sea turtle with plans to add a few more to the collection.

It's been so cool for me to see all the learning she's done just because she is interested.  Since we have the time, she is free to explore and has blown me away with what she's come up with.  Lots of reading and handwriting, math when she had to figure out how much felt she could buy with her money, sewing skills, and drawing!  I'm not an unschooler by any means, but it has been fun to see that so much learning happens all the time.

the helmet.  i can't even.


Sweet Tea said...

I love it! If you can fan the flames of interest kids love exploring and discovering on their own. Breat job, Josie!!

kimmer said...

AWESOME! And look at the animals she's sewn! Wow!

Sarah said...

So exciting! I completely agree - the more I relax and let Elaina lead her writing projects, the more interested she is/more confident she is/better job she does. Aren't we lucky as homeschoolers to get to witness it? :)