Yesterday I shuttled my son 40 miles west to the Port Jefferson Children's Maritime Museum for a new *science* class. Here's the description:
Explore Basic Science Principles through Multi-Sensory Interactive Challenges
Grades 2 - 5
Tuesdays 2:30 – 4:00 PM
October 12, 19, 26, November 2, 16, 23 2010
Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, NY
Construct ramps, gears, wheels and axles
Mix, measure and marvel at chemical reactions
Investigate light and sound at sea
Design magnetic tools
Build biomes in bottles
Erect bridges and piers
It might be a bit of a haul to get there, but:
- Port Jefferson is absolutely beautiful
- The class is 1.5 hours and *drop-off*
- It's science, a subject I'd rather not teach
- Science happens to be my son's favorite
- It's good quality time with other homeschoolers
- AND, it only costs $10 a class!
The first class, aside from the 80 minute drive home in incipient rush-hour traffic, went pretty well.
On another note, my homeschooling philosophy is starting to evolve a bit. More and more I find myself *slacking off*, just leaving my kids to their own devices during the day. I've cut the 1-on-1 math down to maybe 20 minutes a day with each of them. And I still do assign my son to go in his room and read at least twice a day.
However, the day is pretty long - almost 14 hours to be precise - and most of that time my kids are now doing things on their own. For example, the past 3 days they've both been glued to Kerpoof.com - a great site which one of my readers recommended. There kids can compose pics, stories, and movies via drag-and-drop and whatnot. Actually, I'm not entirely sure that's what the site is about because I've only glanced at it a couple of times. But whatever it is, they are pretty engaged by it.
Recall *unschooling*, in its most pure form, is almost an anything-goes educational approach. Many unschooled kids even play video games all day long with their parents confident that they will benefit from following their own passions whatever they may be.
While I'm not quite there yet, I can definitely see things in this household trending in that direction.
On top of that, the general vibe I get from veteran homeschoolers and their literature is that most all of them, as time went on, helplessly evolved into unschoolers.
Look, yesterday my 5.90 year old son told me that *area and perimeter were boring* and that he wanted to *learn calculus*. Also when his book club (he and one other girl) chose a 197 page book (Henry and Beezus) to read together....he finished in less than a day!
So what am I going to do? Make him start calculus now? Make him read 300 pages a day?
Heck, it's getting to the point where I could seemingly work a full-time job AND homeschool.
Take that(!), all you scoffers who think homeschooling a *sacrifice* with trade-offs.