Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Category: Unschooling

  • Spring Forward

    The time changed yesterday and today it felt like spring. Spring has been teasing us for at least a month. Yes, a month, since the beginning of February. We’ve had almost no winter this year and almost no snow since the week of Christmas. I’m grieving the missed skiing. But at some point you just […]

  • A time and place

    Fiona started coding club this week. It was held at the Nelson Tech Club’s hackerspace. Three kids, all about 12, two of them on the autism spectrum and with their workers along for support, the others being boys. There may be a few other kids who come out of the woodwork as the program goes on. A homeschooling mom […]

  • Looking ahead

    Last year Fiona had two siblings at home full-time, and lived in a home with all her stuff, reams of amenities and a bedroom of her own. This year she has no siblings (or siblings’ friends) around home, and half her life is spent sort of killing time at a house in Nelson that we share but don’t feel […]

  • At the crashpad

    Sharing our lives out between two residences feels good in a number of ways. The travel doesn’t feel onerous: Fiona and I are doing two trips a week, just like we did all last year. For Sophie I think it’s turning out to be an unqualified success. She’s happy, she has a nice social group, […]

  • How to know if your unschooler is learning

    Q. How do you know if an unschooled child is learning? A. He’s alive. The point being that children are hard-wired to learn. You can’t stop them. Give them a reasonably rich environment, loving support and relative freedom and you really can’t go wrong. However…. We’re part of a Distributed Learning program, which means that at […]

  • The landscape of Distributed Learning

    We’ve been part of three different Distributed Learning programs with the various kids over the years. In BC kids who are home-based learners have two broad choices. They can be registered as homeschoolers according to the Ministry of Education’s legal definition of such, under Sections 12 & 13 of the Education Act. This is as simple as […]

  • Trig love

    Four times I fretted over what to do with the kids when they finished the Singapore Primary Math series at relatively young ages. Were they ready to move into Singapore’s high school series, or a traditional US-based high school math program? Which one? When? Should we even be using a curriculum? If so, to what […]

  • Homeschooling just one, v2.0

    Homeschooling just one, v2.0

    What a difference this year! A new violin teacher has arrived in the area and I have relinquished all my private lesson teaching to her. This means that Fiona is not dragged to a furniture- and electronics-barren teaching studio for hours each week to sit and wait for me to finish working. It’s the second […]

  • Planning homeschooling

    Planning homeschooling

    As has been our after-SVI routine for the past few years, Fiona and I are thinking about and planning the upcoming year of homeschooling. While she had some ambivalence about homeschooling during the tail end of winter last year, she’s now firmly back on board and looking forward to another year of self-directed learning. While […]

  • Fiona’s “Grade 4” year

    When the kids were younger, our natural homeschooling year was kind of upside-down. Winter would see us spending a lot of down-time in front of the fire, energy and creativity at a bit of an ebb. Once the longer days and warm weather began in spring, learning would explode. The summer fun of outdoor activities, […]

  • Math cat

    Math cat

    Though still essentially an out-and-out unschooler, Fiona has been taking Introductory Spanish at the local school this semester. Nominally she’s in Grade 4 and the requirement for second-language learning doesn’t kick in until Grade 5 within the DL program we’re part of. But she was interested in doing something like this. When we first raised […]

  • Cellular decay, v.2

    It was over five years ago that we bought a very out-of-date cellphone. It served us well for about three years. Erin took it with her to Edmonton and Montreal, we used it during our monthly Calgary trips, she took it with her when travelling to and about Calgary on her own, the kids occasionally […]

  • Moot court

    Moot court

    Our workshops exploring aspects of law and government have continued since last spring and concluded this week with a moot court. We’ve made a special trip to Nelson for each one, and even though we do far too much driving at the best of times, it’s been worth it. Our Lawyer Mentor has employed an […]

  • Between the subjects

    One of the things I love about homeschooling is the way the boundaries between subjects don’t need to exist at all. I know that many schools pride themselves on making “cross-curricular connections,” but those are more like threads connecting otherwise discrete areas. As homeschoolers we are free to dwell for months in the spaces between […]

  • Fall bits

    Where has October gone? Where has my blogging mojo gone? My additional teaching load, and all the juggling of travel and activities by Noah and Sophie, is taking a toll. Fall was amazing until the rain finally caught up with us. The leaves were a good two weeks later to start turning, and then when […]