We sat down this morning and looked at what was coming up in the next couple of months. It seems that while others are gearing down and looking forward to the end of their school year, we are gearing up. That’s the kind of thing that makes me realize that I really am an unschooler.
Earlier in the spring there was a little flurry of organizing being done by other moms. Our local homeschooling e-mail list was a-buzz with various field trips, classes, etc. Folks around here hibernate a bit in the winter and don’t like to have too many things out of the house that will either be cancelled due to bad weather or involve driving in dubious conditions. So once March rolls around, all the moms who like to organize things get busy. I appreciate this enormously.
So Tigger has been doing a geometry and art class once a week for 3 weeks now and there are 5 more sessions. She’s really liking it. And we carpool with another family so it works well for the moms, too. The same mom who runs that class has also organized some sessions at the War Museum. Tigger will be there for a morning and afternoon session this Thursday.
One of the things we were interested in seemed to be harder to get organized than it should have been. Getting the minimum number of kids took a while and then we’d lost the original dates. So that is only starting on May 9th (yep, it’s on Friday mornings) and due to a previous commitment of the teacher’s on one Friday, it’s going through to July 4th (which is not a holiday here; our day is the 1st). This is a science class loosely based on the Grade 9 curriculum (his description) and covering a bit of physics, a bit of chemistry, and a bit of biology. Tigger is excited and I think it will be a good intro to a range of things that could lead to more detailed study in the future.
The botany study with her dad is going well. So far it has mostly been reading the Elpel books, doing some sketching and talking, and checking out plants in the garden and the neighbourhood. But it is going to expand to include an exploration of local conservation areas and parks. He’s buying a map this evening. And someone at one of the conservation areas has organized a couple of homeschool field trips that they are going to participate in.
We are also trying to figure out when to go to Toronto to see the Darwin exhibit at the ROM. I think we are going to combine it with a visit to the Science Centre and just seeing some friends. But I need to look at train times and work out where to stay and figure that out. Probably the 3rd or 4th week of June, early in the week (so we are back for science class).
I’m one of those people that sees the activities organized for school kids in the holidays as great learning opportunities. One such is a Shakespeare camp run by a local theatre group. That’ll occupy Tigger for 3 weeks of July. They are doing As You Like It. She is really looking forward to it.
So, as you can see, there is no winding down or end of school year around here. We just transition from one set of activities to another. For awhile I was vaguely worried that we weren’t doing any science and now it seems like that’s all we’re doing. We seem to go in waves. I have been trying to keep some sort of record of what is going on, mainly by recording things in a day planner (after the fact). This is haphazard and not at all detailed but I think it is probably a useful exercise. I am still very glad I don’t have to report to anyone.