So I’m trying my hand at blogging weekly about our unschool school experiences; as opposed to monthly. Last week, we did much of our routine; which includes the following:
Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
Singing the Star Spangled Banner
Declaring Psalm 91
Our School Declaration
Reciting The Lord’s Prayer
Reading the Bible (we’re wrapping up 2 Samuel)
Working on individual assignments
That is the most formal part of our day. The kids spend most of the day, doing the things that interest them. The boys are still really into building forts, building with their legos, magnatiles, blocks, lincoln logs, megablocks, cardboard and whatever else. When they work in their workbooks, they get to choose what it is that they’d like to work on for the day. They also have a list of sight and vocabulary words that they learn each week. We do this because it tends to help with their reading; which they get to select…kind of. I put the books out that I know that will interest and challenge them; and they get to choose which book(s) from that selection.
So last week, my husband decided to get the boys more involved in business; so he wrote them each $10k promissory notes; so that they could purchase an investment property. The boys have been going online every day, looking for a property. He also took them to meet an attorney, accountant and banker; as well as to a closing on a property that we had just purchased. I’ll link the video of how he prepped them for the meetings; once they are posted on Monday and Tuesday.
Our school is mostly informal; so I’m always paying attention to teachable moments and recording conversations; because so many times, it shows their interest and growth. I caught a moment at the dining room table; when we reviewed etiquette. I’ll link that video as well, as soon as it’s uploaded.
So that was our week. Grandma and Papa Jim came over; as well as bonus Grandpa Lewis. According to the kids, those were the best days ever! How’s your homeschool going?
I trust all is well! I’ve been praying and thinking about the direction of this blog; and have shifted focus just a little. In the past, I’ve posted primarily about fitness and wellness, homeschool/unschool, as well as faith. I will continue to post about fitness and wellness on both of my Good Thing Fitness blog and YouTube channel. Please do subscribe and share! This year, there will be more of a focus on faith, family/unschool and finances. I want YHWH/God to be at the center of everything that I do; because He alone is the source of every blessing in my life. I have faith in Him; because He pursued and fiercely loved me at the most difficult time in my life; and He has been faithful to His covenant with me. I have a family because of Him. When it looked like I would never have children, He proved otherwise. I am financially blessed, because of the principles of His word; and because He honored (and still is honoring) by desire to be a kingdom philanthropist.
So as this year gets underway, I speak a blessing over all of you, from Deuteronomy 30:8 & 9:
May you obey the Lord and follow after Him; and He make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Happy New Year Everyone! December was a fun-filled month. We did our regular-ish routine for the first two weeks; and then dropped everything for the last two weeks to just hang out, play in the snow, build ginger bread houses, bake and eat treats, watch ELF, Home Alone and The Grinch over and over and over again. It was glorious! Our awesome neighbors Ms. Mare and Rohan left anonymous gifts on our porch each day for 12 days. We weren’t exactly sure who the thoughtful and generous person(s) were at first; but we narrowed it down either Ms. Mare or the kind gentleman who leaves gifts, games and toys on our porch for the kid from time to time. The kids were SO delighted and totally enjoyed it! So thanks Ms. Mare and Rohan! You can check out our video here.
For each kid, I ordered Brain Quest workbooks for the new year. They were all so excited and started working in them as soon as we got them. While I am big on learning experiences and allowing my children to pursue their interests; I do think that workbooks have a place in our unschooling experience. Early last year, my husband and I made the switch to God-lead unschooling after 4 years of homeschooling; and haven’t looked back. It was one of the greatest and most liberating decisions we’ve ever made. Gone was the frustration of kids having to learn certain things at certain times. After asking the Father for guidance, He gave us the following scriptures: Isaiah 54:13 (MSG): All your children will have God for their teacher— what a mentor for your children! as well as: John 7:15 (MSG): The Jews were impressed, but puzzled: “How does he know so much without being schooled?”
I’ve found that God takes care of whatever we entrust Him with. As I thought on my children’s learning and growth over the past year; I am floored by it all. My boys boys found and mastered an aircraft simulator game. They build the coolest things out of legos, gears, blocks and magnatiles….everything from little animals to robots and cities. My eight year young is reading so much better; and his math ability is amazing. My seven year young is SO funny! He keeps me laughing! His reading has also improved. He is an animal expert in his own right; and he loves all things science. My five year young has a work ethic like I’ve never seen on a kid. She’s so very eloquent and catches on to concepts very quickly. She is the mastermind behind many of the daily kid operations in our home. My three year young likes numbers and money. She’s all about counting. I’m still amazed at how much her vocabulary has picked up and some of the phrases that she uses. She and I were having a conversation one day and she said: “Mommy, that’s reedikeous!” I laughed and asked her where did she learn that expression? She proceeded to tell me about the Peppa Pig episode that she learned it from.
The things that I’m really pleased about is that the kids know and recite the pledge of allegiance daily; as well as the Star-Spangled Banner. I think patriotism is a must. God loves our country and so should we. They also know Psalm 91 very well. I thank God that He lead us to learn this chapter; because by the time the virus had come around, it was already ingrained in us that NO evil shall befall us; and neither shall any plague (coronavirus) come near us. I heard about children being afraid about the virus and my heart went out to them; but I am so grateful to God that the fear never entered our hearts or minds.
So we started back our daily routine today; and we were all so refreshed and excited! I’m looking forward to the learning and growth this year. I realized that we didn’t travel like we had planned last year; but this year, I’m believing God to go to all of the places that we missed last year; and even more! What is your unschooling/homeschooling plan for this year?
November was filled with lots of activity. We went through our clothes and shoes; and donated our best things to the church near our home. The boys helped papa put together their new beds.The kids also came along to vote. They learned about the constitution, including their first, second and fourth amendment rights. Our awesome neighbor (Ms. Mare) had the kids over and made S’mores with them. It was a real treat! They also went to work with papa. I love hearing my seven year old comment about various properties; especially about what can be done to improve the property. We read through the second book of Samuel; as well as some of 1 Kings. The interesting thing that my eight year old noted was that David’s one decision affected not only him, but his children as well. This lead to a great discussion on the ramifications of our choices.
The kids watched a ton of Superbook this month…..the stories of Daniel, Esther and Jonah in particular. They also watched Berenstain Bears, Wild Kratts, Blippi & Peppa Pig. They played Uno, Monopoly, Candy Land, Connect 4 and Tic, Tac, Toe. They built Rube Goldberg machines (some unsuccessfully) that opened books, turned off the light and rolled a marble off the table. They learned about photosynthesis and matter; due to my son’s curiosity. We also went over counting (the 3 year old), addition, multiplication, fractions, place value, phonics, & word recognition. We did all of this without completing ANY worksheets during the entire month. We added singing the Star-Spangled Banner to our daily routine, right after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. l do think it’s important to teach my kids appreciation for our country. We’re still spending time outdoors, even though it’s a bit chillier. We go to different parks, exploring in the woods or just through the neighborhood.
I was on a mission to ensure that my boys would have NEAT handwriting. My boys’ handwriting is so neat and it just delights my soul! It has been drilled into them that writing is a form of communication. Poor handwriting is a form of poor communication. If no one can read or understand what you’ve written, then you’ve failed to effectively communicate. My kids have written letters and thank you notes to family, friends and neighbors; and I couldn’t be more pleased with the neatness and clarity of their letters.
We wrapped up the month by spending Thanksgiving with family and friends. The kids enjoyed spending time with their favorite cousins; as well as zooming with relatives in other places. November was filled with so many learning opportunities; and we took advantage of as many as we could! You can check out our adventures here. What learning opportunities did your unschoolers/homeschoolers take advantage of during November?
June was another month of awesome learning adventures for the B3 Life Learners. Since we spend time at the lake each week; we began exploring and learning about invasive species that damage the ecosystem of the lake, such as: Eurasian watermilfoil, curlyleaf pondweed, zebra mussel, asian clam and spiny water fleas. We visited Cooper’s Cave, which inspired James Fenimo Cooper to write, The Last of the Mohicans in 1825. The kids weren’t too impressed with the history. They however, sure did enjoy running across the bridge and climbing on the platform over the cave to point out different birds that flew by; as well as looking to see if they could spot any fish or animals. After leaving there, because my four year old had to use the bathroom, we went across the street to the park. However, the bathrooms were closed. I pulled out my trusted little “Go Girl” and an empty water bottle; and my girl relieved herself with no problems. The kids then went rolling, running and jumping down a hill. We then went to check out the big flock of geese. When it was time to go, they were all complaining of being itchy. My 6 year old asked; why is my skin so itchy? I told him that the grass made it itchy. His response: how? I said, that’s a great question! We will look it up; and we did….after they took baths of course! We found out that grass has serrated edges on each blade that makes microscopic cuts in the skin; and secretes an irritating fluid that makes us itchy.
Aside from these adventures; we attended my niece’s graduation party; where the kids got to interact and play with older cousins, friends and family members. They learned to play ladder toss, played with six week old puppies Jax and Duke; and played with various toys. We go out on the boat every week. So this past week; my 6 year old told my husband that he wanted to drive the boat; so he did for a while. The other three also drove the boat. Other adventures and activities that the kids engaged in during the month of June was washing the car, watching a couple of bees pollinate flowers, picnicking, drawing, painting and practicing their musical instruments. The kids also played with one neighbor’s bunny; and another neighbor’s cat.
We continued our regular activities like reading through the book of Matthew, listening to the wonder bible at night, cleaning; as well as learning through gaming on ABCya, Khan Academy Kids and Starfall. My seven year old (and I) learned about interjections through playing a game on Starfall. I didn’t know that there was such a thing; until he started playing that game. He was also learning how to read building plans. My kids draw, write and read nearly every day; as well as bike, walk, run, play and explore outdoors. There was so much packed into this month that this post would be a book, if I wrote everything. In a nutshell, the kids are progressing and learning quite well. To see a video of some of the adventures, click here. Thanks for reading! YHWH/God bless you and have an excellent week!
I felt that YHWH/God was leading our family in another direction concerning homeschooling. I heard the words: “Wholistic learning.” I began to research it and was lead to John 7:15b: The Jews were impressed, but puzzled: “How does he know so much without being schooled?” I had heard of unschooling before; but didn’t feel that it was for my family. This time, with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I learned of Christian unschooling and life learning. Check out my video here, as I explain my findings; as well as share some of the pictures from our experiences from the past few weeks.
I often get asked how do I do it (homeschooling) with four kids. It is only by THE grace of YHWH/God. I actually really enjoy it…frustrations and all. Prior to this past week, I was frustrated with my second son because it was taking him longer to read his books. It wasn’t because he was struggling or couldn’t do it; rather, it was because he did NOT want to read those books. I told my husband of my frustration. He responded: “He’s just not interested in those books. Let him read what he wants to read.” I said, he only likes to checkout cookbooks from the library. He encouraged me to just let him read them. He said that kids are eager learners and demonstrators. They only resist when they are uninterested. So, that Sunday evening as I planned the lessons for the week, I had the idea to make index cards with facts about him and the things that he enjoyed. Last Monday when I handed him his work folder and told him that he would be reading the cards instead of the books, he was so delighted! He read and read those cars all week long….forward and backwards; and created new sentences with them, as well as asked for more cards. Wow! What a difference a little God idea makes.
In addition to the reading switch for my six year old, they made their own little creations out of the air drying molding clay; as well as put together a robotic spider. Boy was that a hit! I’m going back to Walmart and buying the other five robotic creatures that they had. Our school is run somewhat like a Montessori School.
They are free to select whatever they want to work on or play with; and I just rotate between the four of them to teach or explain new concepts or help when there’s a need for it. I work one-on-one with my two year old with her shapes, colors, numbers and abc…..only because she wants to. I’m sure her older siblings serve as an inspiration for this desire. I’m all about letting little kids learn through play and observation. My favorite part of being my kids’ principle educator is the discussions, dialogues and teachable moments that happen all throughout the day. I just love it!
There are moments when I’ve had about enough of my little people. That’s when it’s time for quiet time. They go into their rooms and have the option of napping or doing a quiet activity for an hour. There have also been moments when I have left my house as soon as my husband stepped foot in the door. There’s no need for an explanation of any kind. My husband just says: “Mommy needs a moment.” So between God’s grace, my husband’s wisdom and my knowing when to take breaks, this homeschooling thing works well for our family. Also, teaching my children how to pray the word of God, biblical principles for marriage, and finances; as well as who God says that they are, is work that I am truly honored to do.
If you are a full-time homeschooling parent, what do you love about teaching your children? If you are a part-time homeschooling parent (your child(ren)) attends private or public school), what do you love about teaching your children?
As always, have an EXCELLENT week and I’ll see you on the blog!
Hello and welcome to the Excellent Woman blog! I’m Yonka, your sister in Christ/Messiah, fellow wife, mom, friend, etc. Here on this blog, you’ll find encouragement, resources to build your faith, my family’s unschooling experiences/adventures; marriage advice/tips, as well as helpful biblical information on finances. Go ahead and take a look around. Like what you see? Please subscribe. Then…..head on over to the Excellent Woman YouTube channel and check out my videos on the same topics. As you might’ve guessed, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d like, subscribe to and share my channel. God bless you mightily in Jesus’ name, Amen!