I don’t know if I had mentioned it ( maybe in Instagram stories, I seem to be a lot more active in stories… Is 100 stories a day an overkill? ?), but we are unschooling this year. We had been hybrid schooling for a year and a half when COVID happened ( hybrid school is a homeschool that has a building and teaches each kid on their level, it’s like a mix of Montessori and homeschooling), so when things went virtual ( not that we mind virtual, we do a lot of online classes), I said “We don’t need to mess around with that this year”.
Instead of sticking to a curriculum or schedule or having any kind of freedom limiting obligations, we decided that learning in whatever way we feel like was the best way to go right now.
At this moment, that means traveling around the Western States and learning how to ride horses at dude ranches ( omg who knew it would be this much fun?)
When we have some downtime (like right now), Lexi does a little bit of a more formal schooling: she does a lesson at Khan academy to keep up with those math skills, watches Brainfeed and Brainpop history, science, social studies videos ( which she does anyways), reads books ( again something she does anyways. She’s currently reading Bringing Columbia Home book about the space shuttle accident), learns a foreign language on Droplets.
When we get home, I will probably have her do some hands on activities ( with a few worksheets just to put what she learned to practice), but the girl is already so many grades ahead of her age, she can take a year off when that year decides to be annoying.
I have to say, as a parent, I hate the limitations that would be placed on us in terms of what we can do, when we can do it and how we can do it. So I am just saying No because we just don’t need the extra hassle. She is way ahead, she learns super fast, on her own, she loves new knowledge and finds it everywhere ( except for math, that’s something we have to work on), so it’s just unnecessary for us to deal with COVID schools.
Is it harder because I need to work and she has “nothing” to do or I have to entertain her (as an only child)? Yes! Have we gotten a little more creative and actually experienced more growth this way? Heck yeah!
She’s learning how to have periods of boredom ( something I am trying to actively teach her). She earns Roblox time when she has purposeful bored time ( that means puzzles (she hates puzzles bc they are boring haha), role playing, outdoor time, anything where she has to come up with a way to entertain herself while we are traveling and don’t have toys and comforts of home). It has been going brilliantly. For every minute of bored time, she earns a minute of Roblox time which she spends playing with her friends from home and video chatting with them. And she actually seems to enjoy this type of process.
I am not sure how things will look when we get back home and when she stays at her dad’s (he’s not as disciplined as me when it comes to having her do the right things), but we will tackle that issue later ( probably by having me check in with her a million times a day to make sure she gets some school stuff done before she does anything else. Oh co-parenting…)
But right now we are enjoying every moment of freedom, knowing that the alternative isn’t easy or pleasant. I don’t know at the moment exactly how much traveling we will be doing. It has been a month and we have another month till we get back home. Then there is the reality of co-parenting which means she will be spending equal amount of time with her dad who she loves so much.
But for now, our school time is not scheduled, not planned, not structured and is based on things we know she finds interesting and two things she knows she should do anyways if she wants to grow ( languages and math). This is the plan we came up with together. I always ask her of what she thinks makes sense and what is fair and we come up with way to deal with whatever life throws our way, but she always knows she’s an active participant in that.