Monday, March 17, 2014

Project Based Homeschooling

As many of you know and for those who don't, I am embarking into new waters. I am beginning to shift my 'unschooling' plan into a 'project based homeschooling.' I'm trying something new. I found a core group of women with this same shared idea and we are going to start our own project building together with our kids.

We had our first 'adult' meeting and went through the Steps for "How to Start a Project Group" by Lori Pickard. From her book, "Project Based Homeschooling."

 What is project-based homeschooling? It’s the same educational values applied to learning at home. It’s about combining personal interests with long-term, deep, complex learning. It is a way of learning centered on making, doing, sharing, collaborating, and acquiring real skills.

You can use your ability to 'draw, paint, build, act, create' and incorporate them into learning whatever your interests are.

We had our first meeting, some of us as practically strangers, others have been life long friends. It went really well. 6 of us together were able to have a better understanding on our collective goal. We are all very excited about this endeavor. We decided to start a sharing circle with the kids at first. To include the 15min free play at the beginning of our meets with the kids. To have a meet 2 times a week at least from 10-12 if they last that long. Our kids range from 1.5 - 7 years old. We were talking about having the kids say their name and talk about what they did in the last week to get to know each other. For the next 3 sessions will be just allowing more creative play and having raw materials out for the them to build with while we begin observing and writing down shared interests, questions and ideas.

We hope to start a shared group project as of April 1st. I'll try to remember to keep you all posted. I feel like a fish out of school waters. I am enjoying it.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

From baby to child

I saw a mother the other day googling over her new baby. She oddles him and cooed at him etc. Then before getting into the car, she picked him up and kissed him gently, tucked him slowly and chatted a bit before shutting the door. I've seen this a lot, pretty regular thing for new parents.

I began to wonder why am I rushing? How come I don't take this time much any more. With my toddler on hip and 4 year old racing ahead, I began to feel like life was rushing away. So I slowed down. I walked a bit slower on purpose. I looked into the eyes of my two year old and we chatted a bit. I held my 4 year old's hand and we stopped at a few things I wasn't interested in, but he was. We chatted, I got down to their level. It was wonderful.

I think I used up about 30min longer than usual. I remember I use to take more time when baby was young, feeling 'privileged' as a new mom to do so. When did we become these people who are too busy to show down to the tiny foot step strides of our children?

I'd like to try to keep my steps slow, let my 2 year old guide the steps and our pace. In the meantime, I try to make sure I look my babies in their eyes when I put them in the van. I give hugs and kissed before putting them in as I did when they were babies. I'm enjoying this child pace.