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In the last six months we have completed about 5 days of traditional sit down schoolwork. And you know what? I am totally ok with this. As I was looking through my calendar, I was a bit surprised at first, because I know they have gained so much during the past six months I couldn’t possibly feel guilty about our lack of “school.”
My kids gained so much independence these past six months which was huge help as I was recovering from an endometrial ablation and anemia. A huge piece of their independence came from learning to swim. They started the summer having a basic idea how to swim i.e. not drown in three inches of water. By the end of summer they could swim in the deep end, jump off the diving board, and have a free reign of the pool. We hardly missed a day of going to the pool. It was a perfect summer. One I hope they remember forever.
Lilly learned to ride her bike without training wheels! The girls were so sad when the pool closed but because Lilly could ride her bike without training wheels they spent the month of September outside riding bikes. Chalk up another tally for independence!!! They also learned limits on where they can ride their bikes in our neighborhood. They learned about telling time on their watches so they would be home on time. Such responsibility young ladies. They spend September outside riding bikes and enjoying the gorgeous fall we had. Something I hope they remember forever.
Fofo is in love with dragons. She has been saving up her money for “How to Train Your Dragon’s” Toothless from Build-a-Bear. This fall she finally got it!! We were incredibly proud of her, but seeing how proud she was of herself was even more rewarding. He rarely left her side the first few weeks and now takes command of guarding her while she sleeps. She earned her money from jobs around the house, making lunch for her sister, weeding, mowing lawn, and helping Papa.
It wasn’t all swimming, bike rides, and screen time (ahem) these past six months. We also did some misc “school-type-things.” They started jiu jitsu in July. We completed two Magic School Bus science kits. We attended several activities during our library’s summer reading program. We did do some pages in our workbooks. We had swimming lessons, days at the pool with our homeschool friends, weekly trips to library, and fire safety day at a local fire department with our homeschool group. The girls learned to play checkers. They went tracking with Papa, and on a river tour with Grandma and Grandpa. They also cheered on team USA during the Olympics.
We discovered the gift of audiobooks this summer. Fofo learned to read in the spring. Being able to read along with the audiobook has increased her love of reading and improved her reading skills. If she isn’t reading along with the audiobook, she is building Legos while she listens. She adores building Legos and has become very efficient at it.
We have always leaned towards the unschooling method of homeschooling, but at times you feel guilty for not doing enough traditional school work. But these past six months have taught me the girls are living and learning side-by-side. They learn things even if I am not sitting there right beside them. I have done my best to create a learning environment where you can’t tell where life ends and school begins, and the past few months have shown that it is possible!! So if you ask my kids what they have been learning lately, don’t be surprised to get an “I don’t know.” Or an earful about Minecraft. But I assure you, they have learned a lot.