Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Learning Log -- October 21, 2004

My unschooling log -- sometimes its easier to see what you've done than what you're doing.

My 4 year-old DD was painting with brushes on an easel while I was puttering around tidying things up. (Note: you can get a very reasonably priced stand-up art easel from Ikea; no need to order one for $80 through a fancy toy catalog). I had a bunch of fliers and pamphlets and other giveaways from the Black Family Reunion, and I finally started sorting through them. I came across a 2004 wall calendar and asked DD if she wanted it. She got very excited and started flipping through it. She flipped to October and asked me for the date, noting that the day was Wednesday. I told her it was the 21st and that it was actually Thursday (this is a no-no according to John Holt, who thought it better to let the child correct herself, believing that the child would eventually do so and that no harm is done in the meantime. He had exceptions, of course, where there was actual danger posed by a potential mistake). She notices that there are two Columbus Days marked on the calendar, which gave me the opportunity to explain the difference between a holiday itself and when the holiday is observed.

She saw the notations in the calendar for the phases of the moon -- new, first quarter, full, and last quarter. I was intrigued that there was no half moon notation; later, my husband and I figured that one out (since we only see one side of the moon, a 'half' moon is really a quarter of the actual moon -- we're only seeing half of the half that faces the earth. So its new with no sun reflected on it, then waxing to half, which is first quarter, than waxing beyond to full and then waning back to last quarter, which is really back down to 'half' again, then back to new. I hope we got that right, otherwise the kids are off to school. Nah, we'd just learn it together).

She flipped over to February and saw Valentine's Day and said that its on the February 4. I corrected her (Holt: bad mommy) and point to where the 4th is on the calendar and ask her what day Valentine's Day is. She counts up to 14. I do a really quick lesson on ordinals, saying that February 14 is the 14th of February.

Hopefully, that covers math for awhile.

Earlier in the week, we went to a story time at the library. I always love hearing what DD says to other people. The librarian mentioned pumpkins and DD told her how we had pumpkins on the porch and one was eaten by a squirrel who was eating lots of food to sleep through the winter. So she does listen to the things I tell her (hope I was right!)

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