Thursday, May 01, 2008

a heavy sun lifts himself

William Carlos Williams, Dawn

This morning, Sean and Kieron played the Age of Imperialism game again for some time. They don’t play by the rules — their interest is in employing their formations.

The game is chock-full of plastic-y goodness, as an RPG website said.

I got up late, which hardly ever happens anymore. It is really nice to do once in a while. We don’t have anywhere to go yesterday, so I had planned to move at a little slower pace since the past week or so has been busy. Kevin brought me coffee; I read to Paddy for a few minutes and played with Aidan.

The boys slowly made their way through their schoolwork, in between playing. I have decided to work a bit with Kieron on Ray’s Higher Arithmetic. I want to see if there is any way we can manage to do this. If it is really difficult to manage, I will go ahead and buy some Key to..Workbooks and have recourse to the online math sites I listed last week.

Something I have been considering — making a list of topics I want to go over for each subject. Not nitty gritty details or page numbers, just a few fairly broad concepts that can be covered in several different ways and either stay limited or expand outwards depending on interest, etc.

Another thing I was thinking last night as I went to sleep — why not just keep a list of things I would like to share with the kids at their different ages and personalities? This probably doesn’t sound much different than what I just said above. But the first is “top -down” — start with what’s out there and move to introducing it to my children; while the second is “bottom-up” — starting with the little things that come into my mind in my role as the childrens’ mother and then work outwards.

My way of unschooling seems to be to allow as much to be accomplished informally and freely as possible, and then have a few requires to fill in any areas that aren’t getting naturally covered. How do I get the “requires”? From what I think they could do academically at that age and level of development. This is where I am now. I don’t think it’s necessarily the perfect way. I want to think it through a bit more this summer.

Aidan basically did a DIY Kindergarten today. He painted, worked with his Doug and Melissa letterbox making words, and made pattern shapes out of pattern blocks. He came in and out of the house. Paddy wrote in his Handwriting Without Tears book and painted a bit, and cleaned up the mess he made too ;-).

Still cold around here. I have a fire going. Aidan wants me to walk with him and I probably will, but am waiting in the hope that it gets just a bit warmer out there.

Clare made this cute little sundress. We don’t have anyone in our family to wear it. The two most recent births in our extended family have been nephews, both of them. She makes them for fun, practice, and stash-busting.

Speaking of stash-busting– an ugly term for a cute concept, like kit-bashing — one of the things I want to do this summer is strew all the stash of whatever in my art and game closets. There is so much and some of it, the kids will be too old for soon, if I don’t watch out.

Aidan REALLY wants to me to go outside with him.