Just Another Normal Day; Combining Self- Guided Learning and Traditional Schoolwork

On any given day we tend to mix in school lessons with a lot of self- guided work and discovery.

I try to keep our work load light so the kids have plenty of time to pursue their own passions.  It also allows us plenty of time to fit in errands when needed.

I find the boys are more cooperative and we all feel better when we take a more relaxed approach to our traditional schoolwork.

This is one example of HOW we combine self- guided work and more traditional schoolwork in a day:

Alec amazed me.  He was up, dressed, had eaten breakfast and brushed teeth by 7 this morning.  He, who usually hates to get up, was the first one ready today.  He even beat me!

I had warned him last night that he needed to be up and ready early because we had an early appointment at his orthodontist's office.  On the way we talked about the point of the meeting and any questions that Alec might like to have answered before we proceeded with any procedures.  He brought up a few good points and questions that I made sure to ask about.  He seemed reassured by the time we left and we set up his appointments for March.  I'm sure as the dates draw nearer he'll be a bit more nervous but for now he's happy and content. (Health and life skills)

The other two boys admitted last night that they hated our new book on CD; Tom Sawyer.  Alec just loves it and he was happy to listen to the book while we were in the car alone this morning.  We've decided to try requesting a different book on CD from our library and Alec will finish listening to Tom Sawyer on the CD player in his room while he works on Legos and things.  Language arts)

The boys all played with their toys, with Legos and even with video games until 10 or so when I told them it would probably be a good idea to start our school day.

I pulled out a box of brain teasers that the boys had gotten for Christmas and we all spent a bit of time trying to solve all the brain teasers. The boys took turns trying every puzzle.  They were thinking and engaged and reading the clues when needed.  It was a lot of fun. (Math/ logic)

The boys all also completed one page in their math books.  Alec decided to work on his third grade book today and we worked on congruent shapes.  Evan finished up the section in his book on adding 10.  He asked me to say them out loud to him again and write down his answers. I'm pretty sure if he can add and subtract 10 to all these numbers in his head that he's mastered this skill!  Ian worked on adding and subtracting fractions again and worked on the page all by himself, even reducing fractions though the instructions didn't say he had to. (Math)

Ian and Alec read a bit in their rooms while Evan and I read Time to Sleep Sheep the Sheep. (Reading)

Ian was working on the computer using CAD a bit more today.  He made some great pictures and even showed Alec how to get started.  Alec decided to draw a pyramid while Ian made a flatbed truck holding an excavator.  They did amazing and reminded me that there is a lot of math involved in this computer program. (Technology/math)

The boys all did a bit of writing work today too.

Ian copied the final draft of this month's postcard onto his postcard while Alec worked on his rough draft.

Evan was spelling some sight words using picture cues.  I had printed some sight word pictographs off the computer months ago and asked Evan if he wanted to work on some of them.  He had to determine what each picture was and write down the first letter of each picture... for example the sight word "up" showed a picture of an umbrella and a pizza.  Once he figured out the letters that each picture started with he would link the letters together and read me the word he had made.  He thought it was a lot of fun; especially when I let him tear up the paper when he was done. (Spelling/Writing)

We read a chapter in Lewis and Clark and Me as well as a chapter in Harry Potter.  (Reading)

After lunch we worked together to clean all the floors downstairs.  Ian, Alec and I all vacuumed while Evan used the dry Swiffer on all the hardwood floors.  We swept and used the Libman freedom mop to wash all the floors too. (Life skills)

That's pretty much what a typical day of learning looks like in our house.  What does a day of learning look like in your house?


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