Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is This School Or Not

Sometimes I feel like we take a lot of days off school. Or at least off of working on our curriculum on the computer. It seems like we are on the go all the time. We spend a lot of time at the Environmental Center, the Art Museum, the Nature Center, or the Science Museum. But these are all educational events. And our Lego Engineering Class, Lego Lapbook class, and Geography class are definitely learning times. But is it really school when we go to Chuck E. Cheese or the park. I’ve decided that it is. The park is recess, right? And physical education. I mean how much more exercise can a little boy get than running around a park all day. Chuck E. Cheese teaches so many things. Hand eye coordination on those video games. Then the math skills that are required to add up your tokens. Do I have enough points to win that prize I want? How many more tickets do I have to earn before I can buy it? Yes, it is much more than just playing games.

I think one of the problems many of us have when we first start homeschooling is that we think of school as being Monday through Friday from 9 till 3 with weekends off. That’s what we are used to. But what’s wrong with doing school work at midnight. Or doing a special class on the weekend. That’s still learning. It still counts when you have to document your learning experiences for quarterly or annual reports. Many times homeschoolers are required to document the number of hours per day they spend on school. But do you count all those learning hours. Making cookies requires math skills. It also teaches some chemistry. Watching the bread rise is definitely a chemical reaction. But I don’t think most of us think to document those hours. Sorting laundry or sorting the silverware is also learning. I mean if it counts as math to sort the blue balls from the red squares on the computer, why not count sorting all the forks from all the spoons.

Take some time this week to look at all the things you do with your child that actually are learning experiences and not just play. If you have to provide documentation to the school district or a supervising teacher, be sure you count those hours as well.

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