Welcome to another Monthly Highlight of our unschooling life! This is such a great way for, not only myself to see what we get up to, but for other mothers to see how natural learning looks like in a month. It gives us a bigger picture of learning in our family, rather than the nitty-gritty details of the day-to-day.
Clearly this is not all we did or learned or explored, these are just the highlights. If you want to see what we got up to in January, click here.
We did so many walks and explorations outside this month. The weather was more settled than it had been over Christmas, so we took full advantage of it! Forest, beach, outside play – the late summer sun was delicious. Even with some rainy days, with our new invested rain jackets, we still set out to be outside.
Because we are still only new to Dunedin, we are enjoying getting to know all the amazing walks and places to be. There are so many. I have also started a Nature Day once a month with our homeschool group, and we spent three hours at the shore. The children played and explored, while the adults relaxed and chatted.
Lots of work was done on the house in the final month of summer before Tim started university. Windows put in, cladding put up – major construction work that made our days often noisy and topsy-turvy. The children handled it so well and still use the three-storey scaffolding as a jungle gym! I think the greatest blessing, other than being able to pitch in, is seeing their Daddy work so hard (even when he really, really struggled).
This life that we live, with Daddy home so much more, is so different than what we have had before. The children and I are used to Daddy being out 50+ hours a week (plus church commitments) and so we are adjusting to all being together so much. But now, the children actually have been able to SEE their father working rather than a second-hand thought that ‘daddy goes to work’.
It reminds me of John Holt’s thoughts that children need to be involved in adult work more and more so they can see how something is made from start to finish, and to understand the discipline and effort that is needed to work hard and to finish a project well.
Our Chapter Book Reader
I think our biggest celebration and highlight this month was Josiah taking the plunge and started reading chapter books! We have read around five or six Magic Tree House books the past few months, and I suggested to Josiah if he wanted to try one himself. I was surprised and pleased when he took my idea and ran with it. In a space of two weeks, he read three or four MTH books all for himself! It was a pure joy to see the way he has taught himself to read, from comic books and picture books, to now chapter books and harder books (like National Geographic magazines). I am so, so proud of him.
We did so many other things within this month – art creations, LEGO, play dates, Friday fun with our homeschool group, documentaries, and loads of books (always lots of books!). But these were the things that, as I am looking back on the photos that I have taken, stood out to me for the month.
What has been happening in your homeschool life this month?