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Active Schooling

It’s good to be back to Friday!  Friday is simple home school day here on Loving Simple Living. … if you read last week, it isn’t always as simple as I want it to be 🙂

This week has been a schooling and parenting breeze.  I would love to take credit and tell you about all things I changed and did to make this week work well…. but I have no idea.  Really, sometimes I think the kids gang up on me and play ‘random mood swings’ or something.  Some highlights in schooling this week.

  1. Lily is has been working on a review section in Math and is remembering and applying lots of different principles almost all on her own.  Before she has needed lots of reminding when we get to reviewing, but this week she amazed me with her explaining to me lots of what we were doing.  (this is rocket science compared to the simple stuff she was stuck on last week)
  2. Lily is getting excited about some of the songs she is assigned this week in piano.  She has been dragging her feet and not picking up on much with piano for the past few months… really, the early songs are pretty boring, but she was excited about the songs and her ability to play them so easily this week.

    She doesn't typically play on her bed, there just isn't good light for the picture in the living room. This is super staged :). I have no idea why her shirt is on backwards, but the stuff on the sleeve is batter from a batch of mint chocolate chip muffins she just finished making.
  3. Ian picked out a bunch of books on the kindle with money his cousin sent him for his birthday and has been reading up a storm.
  4. My kids are so stinking cute.  They get along so well, work together, and we spend part of every day dreaming about visiting a different country.  We salsa danced for Spanish class this morning.  My kids can talk intelligently about geography and travel.  Ian is still working it out, but even he understands where lots of places are.  He really wants to go to Brazil.

One tidbit I wanted to share with you today was making school active.  I have often tried to teach them lessons with them being active where we do a ‘store’ or they can walk or move around, but sometimes they just need to write.  There is no mobile way to learn to write.  Ian has been struggling with writing lately (not that he does much at the age of 5, but I try and get him do do some) and this week we struck on something that worked  (probably won’t work for long, but important anyways)

If the kids can’t be mobile with school work, get the teacher mobile

For Ian’s writing assignments this week I would put one block toward a castle (with his lego like big blocks) for every letter he wrote.  He would get the sheet done and I would build a castle, one letter and block at a time.  This also got us saying the letters out loud as he did them.  It could also work moving pennies or marbles from one dish to another for everything completed or something else similar.  One more visual step to help them keep working 🙂

Here is a castle with his pencil. These blocks are great!

Thanks so much for all the advice and encouragement last week everyone!  I love blogging and meeting so many amazing people.

I have thought and done some looking at the unschooling stuff.  I still have lots more to wrap my mind around but I like the idea more and more.  (When I started home schooling that was the one method I thought I would never try)  I think there is probably a balance in there somewhere, but I think kids and adults would benefit far more from a learning environment than a ‘meeting a standard’ or ‘testing through’ environment.

This was further strengthened by starting to read The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau.  Lots of great stuff I am learning in there that I want to talk more about in March on the blog. (it will be on the March reading list)

This fits in with the fact that we really want to give our kids the experience of international travel.  I have spent a bunch of time on travel sites, teaching English stuff, volunteer stuff, how to make mobile income stuff trying to figure it all out.  I know it can be done, and I want to do it…. I just need to figure it out 🙂  Enjoyed this article on MSN this morning about great places to retire.   It is all spinning in my head where I can over process it 🙂

Lastly. I have some big news to share with you… in 7 days!


  1. ah! big news in 7 days???!!! i can’t stand waiting that long!

  2. So great that this week went well for you! I was praying that it would. I think that sometimes we get so fed up with what the norm is, that switching it up some always helps 🙂 I typically will let the kids play with a couple of toys quietly while I do the long readings that I do in our “homeschool.” Sometimes I wonder if they actually absorb anything, but then when we pick up our chapter book the next day and review the previous days chapter, Emma does a pretty good job at telling me where we left off. So that makes me happy! As far as international travel, have you heard about Not sure you would want to do that, but I have a friend who traveled across Ireland doing it, and she loved it. I think that there are some opportunities for families as well. Just an idea!

    • wwoof is awesome! our organic farming friend in hoopa, ca takes in “wwoof’ers” & talk about a neat experience for all! you’d meet a lot of great people that way! 🙂

    • thanks I will check it out!

  3. Your such a good momma, great ideas for me to use, thanks! I totally want to do a store and talk about money with my Elly.

    • we had a blast with Lily years ago with all her plastic food. Just put a piece of tape on 20-30 things and put prices on them. We did adding 2 numbers, then we did adding 3 numbers. Then we got crazy and played subtraction ‘store’ where she would minus stuff she was bringing to ‘buy’. We even did double digit adding and subtracting when she was ready (carrying and borrowing in her head). That is hard for me as an adult 😉 If they can do it in their head that is way ‘smarter’ than being able to do it on paper. They need to be able to write numbers, but beyond that, they learn much more figuring out in their head.

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