10 August 2012

Unschooling Stuff

School-y updates from the house of interest-led randomness.  :)  The last week or so has been a weird one for me, somehow late summer triggers something in my children and they clamour for worksheets and new topics to explore, new places to go, new things to try.

Morgan's alphabet book is up to I:

A new interest in Victorian Britain:
Jenna made a lot of Victorian-inspired paper dolls, watched the old version of Oliver Twist, and hunted out books at the library all by herself.  She's still working on a book about Ancient Greece, and my instinct is to push her to go at things "in the right order" and not investigate two different periods of history at the same time "in case it's confusing".  I'm trying to squash down my schooled ideas about what she can and can't do.

She's into Ruby Gloom at the moment, and drew this for her friend:
She sat and wrote a letter too, without me hanging over her, and it's so interesting to how her spelling is coming on.

A couple of days ago Jenna sat at the laptop looking at cell structures (after I made a silly comment about her picture of a cooked breakfast) and when I glanced at the screen she was doing a test at A level and getting about half of the questions right.  I was shocked - not shocked that she got some right, because she's bright, and it was multiple choice - but that she was happily doing an online test at all, given how she usually avoids any possibility of anything that looks like testing!  If you were to try to ask her how to spell CAT she would get upset and confused and refuse to do it, but she writes much more difficult words in her journals *all* the time.

Morgan doing maths:
Morgan is reallly into numbers all of a sudden.  Adding them up, counting in twos, telling me how many there are of different things, patterns.  I ask her to check her answers herself, and don't yet tell her if I get a different answer.  With Jenna I usually do, now, and ask her how she can find out which answer is right.

I have always thought of Morgan as needing far more protection from too much too soon, because she is more inward-looking and has taken much longer to come to things like drawing representational pictures and so on.  Yet here she is, reading, writing, and understanding number processes, at a similar age to when Jenna did those things.  Just... differently.

Fingerprint creatures:

As usual, most of the "educational" things we are doing can be listed under two headings: being out of doors, and reading (a LOT of reading).


At Attenborough Jenna and Morgan were pretending to be Victorian ladies all the way round.  They cracked us up curtseying to all the cyclists.

Last month with Jenna I was reading Anne of Green Gables.  Now we're reading Truckers.  It's awesome being able to share more complex books with her as she gets older.  I'm still not so much reading chapter books to Morgan, but it's on my list of new things to introduce.  Morgan's favourites to bring to me at the moment are still endless Mr Men books.

French board game:
DSC07825 - Copy

Basically, we are just free range!  Reading, running about, and finding out about things that interest us. And for once, I'm not anxious about the whole process.


  1. Oscar LOVES Ruby Gloom and my musician husband says its the best cartoon theme tune ever lol. Did you look at the 1900 house for Jenna, was it too old for her?



  2. Oooh I really enjoyed that but didn't think of putting it on for Jenna (ha! shows how my brain is working right now!)...

    Ruby Gloom is awesome - the accents grate after a while, but the music *is* fun, and how can I not love a cartoon with ravens named Edgar, Allen, and Poe?! :)

  3. It's great to read about others who are learning in a similar way to us, it makes me feel less alone. Thank you for sharing.

    1. <3 I love this comment - thank you so much!


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