As the years go by, I find myself leaning more and more toward the unschooling end of the homeschool spectrum. When I first began, as I have said before, I was extremely worried about covering all the bases and making sure of grade levels and subjects. The longer I teach my children, though, I realize that the simple love for learning can be cultivated and then anything they are interested in will be play and not work in a learning environment. As we explore different interests, we discover new ways to learn and grow. Finally, I am finding the confidence to allow that to just happen instead of scripting every experience.
Speaking of which, we took some extra time for science play today. Rather than our regular school assignments, I got out a rock kit I had ordered from Rainbow Resources some time ago, and the book Geology Rocks! by Cindy Blobaum. This is one of Lucy’s favorite books just for recreational reading, and the kids have been begging to look at the rock kit since I ordered it. I thought I had ordered a lesson plan to go along with the rock kit, but unfortunately it turned out I had ordered the wrong one. So we invented our own experiments, which probably was more interesting anyway.
The first test Max and Lucy performed on the rocks was a streak test. The safety goggles were probably unnecessary but they were fun. They dragged their rock across the back of an unfinished tile to see what color mark would be left behind. They recorded the information they found on a chart, and then moved on to a scratch test. The scratch test used their fingernail, a nail, a penny and a piece of glass to determine mineral hardness by scratching or being scratched by the various rock samples.
I especially liked the learning involved in studying and charting each step of the experiment. After they had used all the rocks included in the kit, we started on some of the rocks we have collected. They were equally interesting, although of less manageable size. After the rock kit was thoroughly explored, they moved on to our shell collection, and sorted and explored to their hearts content.
It’s always amazing to me how educational my children’s recreation turns out to be. Or maybe instead, just how recreational my children’s education turns out to be. Good times!
Hope you’re enjoying your day!