Learning Unknowingly

We’ve had an interesting few days of some ‘learning without realising’ going on…

Firstly, M has learnt about more than and less than ( <, >) (actually covered a while ago in Mathletics but since forgotten): last week I posted a question on a Facebook group for help with subtractions where part of the sum is missing and I was pointed in the direction of MEP maths and I’m so glad!  I could have sat and done it myself it looked so enjoyable.  An intriguing mix of pictograms, intertwined with some serious maths, roman numerals and what appears to be handwriting practise.  I couldn’t quite figure out the philosophy behind it but I thought M would love it and I was right!  To get her in more of a maths mood I’ve started her on the Y1 worksheets so hopefully she won’t be put off by anything too challenging.  She’s already completed 7 pages in 4 days.  Today she was doing more than/less than with various quantities of dots and spending ages making the dots into faces and patterns.  I was very tempted to tell her to hurry up and get on with it but she was so obviously having fun with maths for the first time in ages that I left her to it.

Secondly, species classification and animal families in her ‘Get Out‘ nature activity book sent from Grandma a while ago: we’ve been Googling the various animals so we can learn more about them in order classify them and so that M can colour them in accurately.  As you can see she’s doing a spectacular job.

20140324_090515 20140324_090536

Thirdly, wheat and the process it undergoes to produce flour: I strewed a free booklet with grain samples I got from Grain Chain recently.  M noticed a few days ago and asked what it was.  Her response was basically ‘meh’.  So I tidied it away yesterday thinking I’d save it for a future date.  Then today at lunch D asked if bread sticks were good for you which led onto a conversation about white and wholewheat flour.  So I got my booklet out to show them what I meant: M wanted to feel each sample from the grain cycle and was asking lots of questions (without getting angry!) until it was clear and understood.

This afternoon we went to David Lloyd and the girls did a bit of work in their workbooks though M chose to do her MEP maths instead – yippee!  Then M made a very weird comment – that home school was funny because you didn’t actually learn anything?!  So I challenged her on it (this isn’t the first time she has said something like this) but this time she got quite worked up about it and insisted she hadn’t learnt anything and couldn’t remember it even if she had.  It was so strange, like she didn’t want to accept that home school might be successful?!  Very odd indeed.

It might seem as if this blog is the ‘M-show’ since she gets many more mentions than D: this is not to do with any kind of favouritism but more because M has so many issues from being in school too long and I think it has affected her deeply (not that I am blaming school, but M was in no way suited to their learning style.  She doesn’t really have her joy of learning back yet, although I’ve seen a couple of small sparks.  I find writing about these issues here quite therapeutic and hopefully it might be helpful to others in a similar situation.

On the other hand, D only attended pre-school during the morning and was largely unaffected by it (apart from being furious at being ‘bossed about’).  D has obvious learning passions which have never been stymied, namely science at the moment, and can fully immerse herself in whatever she wants to learn.  She is pretty much teaching herself to read and write now (absolute refusal to use Reading Eggs) and learns through typing emails to family members, writing and reading about space and trying to read anything and everything around her.  She is telling ME parts of the 10 times table just from thinking about it to herself and will happily play with her Arithmasticks to work through number ideas in her head.  She doesn’t differentiate between what we might think of as ‘work’ and ‘play’.  She is well and truly an unschooler.  M has all this potential but I think we are only half way through deschooling her.

Blummin’ school.  My biggest regret is that M ever went.

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