The girls spent most of today immersed in language arts. Learning about Shakespeare peaked their curiosity about plays and playwriting. Amelie is in Drama class at her tutorial as well, and wanted to learn more about theater. I suggested that the girls work on writing a couple of plays.
Sera’s play, Pizza Problems, is about an owl and a mouse baking pizza together and learning to share. Amelie wrote A Jungle Home about animals finding a place to live and the hospitality of a lion. They were wonderful! They had all of the major elements of story-writing. Great plot, action, and resolution. I think kids get this stuff intuitively. They know how to write because they immerse themselves in good stories. I think when the kiddos are reading and/or we are reading to them, they are learning SO MUCH more than we know.
Later in the day, the girls worked on a few book reports for their dance school. Both of the girls both attend Rejoice School of Ballet, where Amelie dances and Sera plays the African drums. The program is geared toward underprivileged students, but is open to anybody. The payment for families who are on the free or reduced lunch program is around $10 per month for one class a week. For those in higher income brackets the fees operate on a sliding scale. We are so fortunate to have this resource. Not only because I think Amelie was a born dancer (shameless mom brag), but because the diversity they find in this community is priceless. It is something I would desperately miss now that we are not in public school.
Rejoice also offers incentives for reading. Students have the option to complete book reports throughout the year, and at the dance recital, prizes are awarded to those who have read the most pages. I think a bit of external motivation goes a long way. The girls are constantly wanting to fill out book reports for a chance at the prize. This works out so nicely with unschooling and is an example of how “real life” can be a great substitute for a curriculum.
Their book reports help them with spelling, grammar, penmanship, and is a good way for me to gauge their reading comprehension. The penmanship isn’t forced, rather, I’ll just ask, “Do you think your teacher will be able to understand your great ideas?” We don’t have a formal spelling curriculum, but I’ll circled incorrectly spelled words and have them correct them using a dictionary.
The girls also spent a great deal of time reading outside because the weather was so lovely. I don’t think time spent reading outdoors is ever time wasted.
Subjects covered today: Literature, Language Arts, Reading, Playwriting