Jun 1, 2011

"You choose Tuesday" - freeing up homeschool

We needed a shake-up, a change in routine. Usually that means adding more and more to our schedule but seriously, there is a limit to that!

I thought we could take on the radical notion of letting the girls choose the days project themselves.

Rules of "You choose Tuesday"
To be clear - we still needed to fit in piano practice, and there needed to be some maths in the day somewhere. But otherwise, it is a free choice made by kids for adults to follow. Once a week.

Tried it and liked it
The first one was a great success - the girls chose ginger beer brewing, label craft for the g.b, and making a magazine that July has been planning for weeks "Cute Mammals". November really wanted to help Mike with paperwork (paying bills, budgeting etc - who knew?). We all had fun and I felt a real pressure lifted - life as curriculum!

Photo essay
Our second "You choose Tuesday" is shown here. I find it fascinating that the girls both chose maths projects.

July has just started learning fractions and we have been using a free resource US Mensa have developed called Action Fractions complete with a Fraction Spy.

Of course July chose this as she decided to dress as the spy and continue the activities with Mike.

Then there was a costume change and mysterious noises came from the kitchen...

while November decided the two of us were off to the vegetable garden to plant up the legume bed with snowpeas, telephone peas, and her favourite - sugar snap peas.

First there was much planning and drawing of scale diagrams. I had ordered the traditional open pollinated seeds earlier from Eden Seeds so November was able to use the sowing information to plan the optimum layout, with trellises running north-south for the best winter growing.

We made up some seed sowing rulers from the fairy floss sticks from a fair we went to last week.

Mike and July arrived just in time for transferring and measuring the plan from paper to the real thing. We had harvested bamboo last year so it was dry and ready to use, recently measured by the girls into 2 metre lengths (and cut by Mike).

Seeds went in - July really went to great lengths to press her seeds into the ground.

November had a meditative moment - girl and garden - what a lovely combination.

Watered and all finished. Mulch to come...

Time for fraction oatmeal cookies, home-made ginger beer, and organic farmers market mandarins. Ahhh - bliss. I love homeschool and "You choose Tuesday"!

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