So we are finishing our second week of unschooling. This week we planned and completed the laying out of our garden. The children really worked hard hauling the bricks to create their raised beds and lay out walkways to walk upon. Then I helped them haul loads of straw, leaves, and composted earth and they created layers of organic matter and planted their early spring crops. Next week we will fill the remaining beds with layers and get them ready for their other seeds that need to wait a bit to make sure the ground doesn't get too cold again. They planted onions, chives, parsley, marigolds, and cilantro.
We also dissected cows eyes this week. It was a great review of the parts of the human eye as well. At first we were all squeamish but once the cutting began, it was fascinating for all three of us. We used the lens as magnifying glasses and read words on some mail. We also thought that the tapetum was beautiful with its bluish silver iridescence. This is the part that reflects light back through the retina and allows cows, like cats and other creatures to see well at night.
Other than these two projects, we continued to learn about kites, hiked and collected water from a local lake (which we will examine under a microscope next week). The kids finished reading Alice in Wonderland, and Half Magic, as well as starting new independent reading books. My oldest is creating space in her room for a new baby doll she has saved and bought. It does my heart good to see her playing at dolls and not spending so much time with her Ipod touch and other electronics.
The children started baseball this week and though they both say they are not having much fun, I hope after a few practices they find their joy in the sport again.
So that is our second week. We have abandoned the whole "learning hour" model of unschooling and we are just embracing the day, each and every morning. I have no delusions of continuing unschooling once this 6 week period is over, but while we are in it, I am embracing the joy and ease of how our days are going along. I have had time to finish projects that had gotten away from me while in our winter term. And we have been able to visit the children's grandmother with more regularity, which in itself is a plus of this experiment, as we were so busy before that we just didn't go.
Next week the children begin at a Farm School which will run all through the spring. There they will learn about green building and sustainable living as well as learn more tips on gardening that they can then use here at home with their own gardens. It should be a very fun set of classes.
Until next week then...