December Learning Club
Sometimes people ask how my kids will learn everything they need to know if we are homeschooling.
Especially because we "unschool"/do interest lead learning.
The simple answer is: they won't.
These rings are the favorite thing in our house right now. We've had them for almost 3 years at this point, but they were in the garage until just recently. Now it's the favorite thing.
I don't mean to cause alarm, but most of us don't know everything we "need" to know. For a variety of reasons, number one being that what we need to know? Is subjective. What I need to know is vastly different than what my husband needs to know, and what either of us needs to know is different than a farmer in Mongolia. What each of us needs to know is different.
So will they learn everything they need to know homeschooling?
But they wouldn't learn everything they need to know in a typical public or even private school.
Trader Joe's Gingerbread houses were a highlight this year. Honestly, now is the time to buy Gingerbread Houses, because everyone is selling them at such a discount.
They are learning how to learn and how to keep learning fun. Which, at their ages, is really all I can hope for. Sure, Rory can read more and more every day and Jinora is beginning to be able to recognize letters in the alphabet, but more importantly: they are never not excited to learn something new.
I don't mean to imply that they never have bad attitudes, Rory absolutely loathes when something is messy or cannot be perfected and getting Jinora to focus for any amount of time when she doesn't want to is painful, but they like to learn. And if I sell whatever we are doing as "learning something new" they are down to try - for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Much more than that and I've obviously struck educational gold.
One thing they always love to do is make cookies. Making salt dough ornaments for our two tiny Christmas trees wasn't exactly cookies, but the concept was the same and therefore the diligence in creating them was the same.
Jinora turned four earlier this month.
That seems impossible, but she did. And counter to her brother's big-bad-birthday-bash-insanity, my tiny four year old wanted to have a tea party with all her girl friends (and NO siblings). They had purple frosted sugar cookies, strawberries, string cheese, and carrot sticks with pea tea lemonade. It was delightful, quiet, and well mannered - except when she had to snap at two of her friends for fighting, to which they oddly responded. For whatever reason, tiny girl tea parties are infinitely calmer and cuter than 40 person birthday bashes with a dance floor - though those have their time and place too, I suppose.
One of the presents J opened were these Dinosaur Eggs, which all of the girls, in their beautiful dress up dresses, decided to excavate. It was adorable and awesome and bad ass.
As it has been mentioned, Jinora is a bit obsessed with dinosaurs. She also received a stuffed apatosaurus, a fossil kit, an amber kit, two dinosaur play figures, a volcano model, and a dinosaur night light in the last week. It's a big thing in our house.
I painted a mural with the kids on our wall several months ago with chalkboard paint
The kids use it for all kinds of things I didn't expect. We "decorated" Christmas trees and made lists of our favorite movies. Rory wrote letters and made a spot for target practice while Jinora traced her name where I had drawn it 1000x.
Rory received a National Geographic Engineering Kit for Christmas from my parents and it is his favorite thing right now. The craziest part is that he never even put it together into anything from the booklet.
Over 100 options of robots and vehicles and other things to create and the boy builds his own creations. We tried to build a motorcycle with him on the first day he had it and he got maybe 25% of the way through the instructions and decided he would rather create something for himself. The above picture is him with his army of little robots and things.
I would tell you more about them, but it's not my gifting. You'll have to ask him.
Our passes to Woodland Park Zoo are already worth it. We've been several times now and the kids love it more and more with every trip. We haven't even taken them to a feeding or special show or anything - just to walk around the loop. And lord knows we haven't seen every exhibit, because the place is gigantic. I am so excited for them to see every spec of it.
No really though, it's magical.
I cannot stress enough how amazing it has been to have purchased a zoo pass. It is amazing to be able to wander through the wild exhibits, but more than that, it is so amazing to watch my kids wander. They're getting to see animals up close that they've only ever read about or seen video.
I am so grateful for conservation efforts that zoos like Woodland Park make, while still creating a space for my kiddos to be amazed and engaged with wildlife.
This week between Christmas and the New Year, we will be taking some time to look at what 2019 might bring for our interest lead learning and how we might be more intentional with it. Keep an eye out for all the new fun things we will be getting into this coming year.
See you soon!
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