Monday, February 9, 2009

Skip Counting, The Unschooling Way

We are unschoolers, which means that we don't follow a curriculum. It means that we let learning happen as it naturally does. Letting it happen allows learning to be fun all the time. This basically means that we go about our life, everyday. If you look at the big picture, learning happens all the time. You can't not learn.

I've thought of going the traditional route for fleeting moments here and there. For my husband, this is his last bit of rebellion. He can't wear his hair down to his ass anymore. There are other things that I won't mention that he can't do anymore either. It's not the path for everyone, but for us it works well.

A while back, someone recommended the game Monopoly Jr. I found the Disney Princess Edition which for Princess is undoubtedly the best choice. The original version is no longer being manufactured, but I found a used game on eBay. This was going to be a Hanukkah present, but we were stuck in the house for two weeks during the crazy snow storms of 2008 (yes, that's just this last December). We needed something new to do, so I pulled out this game.

As we were playing, it was easy to notice the math that was involved. Addition, plain and simple, or so I thought. You see, to start the game you get a bunch of castles, twelve for a two-player game or ten for a three or four-player game. Princess counted out her own castles and I counted mine. Since it was easier, I simply counted the castles out by twos. She saw me doing that and wanted to do it as well. We did it once or twice and went on to play the game.

The next time we played she showed Daddy how she could count by twos. I thought to myself, "This is awesome! Unschooling at work."

Last week in our math activity class at Village Home the kids played with pairs. Yes, we do classes. Princess chooses the classes she wants to do and was so excited because this week we didn't have to rush out and miss the last minute of class. Anyway, I think this brought back what we had done before.

A few days ago she started skip counting by twos again, but this time she went all the way to one hundred! I think I've got a pretty smart kid, but I also think that this way of life we have chosen is working for us. Yes, we think that unschooling rocks.


Kelly said...

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but we pretty much unschool as well. My aunt is a teacher and doesn't approve of unschooling. She barely approves of homeschooling and since she will someday be the person who does my state mandated assessments, I need to give the impression that we have something resembling "structure".

suchlovelyfreckles said...

I will never forget her face, when she counted by two's in that classroom... her cheeks glowing red, her eyes focused on the numbers she ignored everything going on around her... She was counting, and she was not going to be disturbed. So sweet!

I have a little boy sitting on the couch with his dad right now, reading words in the Kids National Geographic. So cute.

Momma Bear said...

ive been reading more on unschooling and im finding it is appealing to me. I look forward to reading more about your experience and all.

Shady Lady said...

kelly, i'm typing as quietly as i can. your secret is safe with me. ;)

Shady Lady said...

Freckle, it was pretty awesome. I still get all excited every time she skip counts for another person.

And go Blue Eyed Boy! He's a reader! I remember something about words on a white board and him reading. It is so cool!

Shady Lady said...

Momma Bear, I'll be sure to post more. I recommend "The Unschooling Handbook" if you haven't read it...and anything by John Holt. John Taylor Gatto is pretty awesome, too.

Aliceson said...

So interesting, as we've been having public school issues this year. I'll have to look more into this unschooling thing.

Shady Lady said...

I'm so happy this post has inspired you to investigate unschooling! Even if this isn't the direction for everyone, there are as many ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. Good luck in your investigation. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have!