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dottieanna29
10-19-2012, 10:18 AM
I've been looking at some of my old blog posts and mildly looking into Project-based stuff, and I realized that we really don't have as much fun anymore. Somewhere along the line I made the 3R's our emphasis, which is fine, but too often we don't get to the content subjects that tend to have more projects, more games, more fun. We also don't do our educational games enough anymore. So, I've been thinking it may be time for (another) change. The kids are still young, ds is definitely working ahead, dd is working on level (such as it is) but seems to learn better with activity anyway. I don't want to give up our sit-down workbook stuff completely because that does seem to be what works for ds but I feel like right now we are just getting through "school" as fast as possible to go do other things.
So here's what I'm thinking:

2 or 3 days a week, we start the day with our skill subjects (3R's), then when (if) that is done we'll play games or do some crafts.
The other 2 or 3 days a week, we start with our content subjects, which would include history, geography, science, art, music, holidays, etc or just games if I don't have anything ready.
How many days we do each thing would depend on what topics are planned so may vary from week to week.
One big change to help this work would be telling ds that there will be no computer until 3 or 4pm, so that the whole day isn't "can I play computer now?", "are we done yet?". I want to encourage creativity, general playing.

Some things I'm thinking:
-Setting up a creativity center with paper, scissors, crayons, markers, coloring pages (ds likes the really elaborate ones with designs), his how to draw books, stamps, tape, etc. This way they can do some crafts without me having to set up every time. I have a hutch I can use for this.
-This would work out easier for me since our skill subjects are done in the kitchen but our content subjects, games, etc. are done in the living room. I wouldn't have to worry about losing them as we switch rooms in the course of the day.

Any thoughts? Does anyone do something similar? Anyone know of any blogs or websites (I do have the project based homeschooling one already) that have ideas of this sort?

Ellenaj
10-19-2012, 11:02 AM
We get into these ruts also-where it seems to be all work and no fun. While I like the consistency of using the workbooks and doing sit down work-it does get boring-even for me. We usually do about 3-4 hours every day of math, reading, writing, unit study(changes every week and is very short-usually consists of worksheets, coloring pages, small powerpoint projects and reading) and typing. And an hour in the afternoon for history-and that usually consists of some reading, a workpage or two and if we have time (and energy) a project. Or the project (if too big) gets its spot on Sunday afternoons where we can take more time with it. I let the kids have free time from about 2pm on and that is when they can do craft projects or other activities and sometimes they take me up on it and sometimes they just want to play.

I should mention that on Fridays we do sit down and play math games instead of just doing worksheets of lessons for math.

And the kids have outside of the home activities-UU Church, karate, rock climbing, science club, book club, 4h and lego club-all of which give them plenty of time to get creative and do other things besides sit down work.
I just wish we as a family had more creative time.

I want to plan 1 or 2 days every week for another subject-mabe even art history or something- to where we can spend the whole day doing activities and projects without having to rush through the other subjects. But I don't know if this will throw off our flow with the other core subjects or not. Mabe I need to set aside time on the weekends-when we don't do so much of the 3Rs and just do some projects. If only we had an extra day in the week! :)

I LOVE your idea of having an creativity center-we have a creativity type closet-but I think it is kind of an out of side out of mind thing. Mabe if we had a station for everything the kids and myself would be more apt to use it. Great idea!

I can't wait to see what others have to say.

BakedAk
10-19-2012, 11:03 AM
No advice - but what's that project-based homeschooling website you mentioned? I'm wondering if I've seen it/missed it/bookmarked it so long ago that it's buried in my bookmarks file. :)

I like the idea of a "creativity center" - might contain the explosive cutting and gluing that happens in our house.

inmom
10-19-2012, 11:54 AM
When my kids were that age, they also did well with a more formal, scheduled approach to learning. We would also get into a rut. Rather than change things up completely when this would happen, we just would take a week-long "vacation" from formal schooling. We would play the educational games, field trip a bit more, pursue artistic endeavors, etc with a very free-flow feeling. We would need to do this 2 or 3 times a school year. Typically at the end of the week we were all ready to return to our normal routine.

Now that they are teens and following their own interests paired with college prep courses, it's all I can do to keep up with THEM.

dottieanna29
10-19-2012, 11:58 AM
I want to plan 1 or 2 days every week for another subject-mabe even art history or something- to where we can spend the whole day doing activities and projects without having to rush through the other subjects. But I don't know if this will throw off our flow with the other core subjects or not. Mabe I need to set aside time on the weekends-when we don't do so much of the 3Rs and just do some projects. If only we had an extra day in the week! :)

I LOVE your idea of having an creativity center-we have a creativity type closet-but I think it is kind of an out of side out of mind thing. Mabe if we had a station for everything the kids and myself would be more apt to use it. Great idea!

I can't wait to see what others have to say.

That's the kind of thing I'm thinking about - 1 to 2 days a week where I don't feel the need to rush through our fun stuff. We can do it for as long as it takes. Weekends are no good since we have a very small space and nothing is going to happen when dh is home. I don't think the skipping skill subjects for a couple days will matter here because we tend to be fairly erratic homeschoolers anyway, plus many of the projects and games will incorporate reading and math practice.

The other reason I'm thinking this is my son constantly complains about Vicki getting fun stuff to do but he never does fun school anymore. And I realized, he was right. And that doesn't seem fair. It's not like he's in high school, he's 7.


No advice - but what's that project-based homeschooling website you mentioned? I'm wondering if I've seen it/missed it/bookmarked it so long ago that it's buried in my bookmarks file. :)

I like the idea of a "creativity center" - might contain the explosive cutting and gluing that happens in our house.

I haven't read the book yet but I'm planning to soon. I don't think I'm going to go all out project based, but I think it would be a nice to add to our days, at least a couple days a week.7

Okay, here's a direct link to the blog, the other didn't seem to work. http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog

Stella M
10-19-2012, 10:27 PM
We have a no screens till after 3 rule happening and it helps.

I realized the same thing - not much fun - I made Friday a computer science and engineering day for ds. If I don't pin fun to a particular day, fun will not be had. Sad but true.