~a month of unschool~ the merry-go-round went around again

the beginning of the month was spring break, featuring unschooling in its rawest form (you know, without going to school), which i wrote about in spring break in the age of reason.

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pictured here are some writing he was doing using 3-finger grip (he was creating sequels to some books from his reading class) and some other assignments he tackled of his own choosing.

back in school, we did our one and only set of assessments for the year, and we did not do them using any sort of exam structure. it was interesting to realize there are a few things we forget to cover (those >< symbols in math for greater than, less than, for example), and while sometimes it’s helpful (we decide to go ahead and cover them), other times it feels more like an opportunity to decide if it’s really something worth covering, or whether it needs to come up in a contrived way, rather than just letting it come when it is pertinent. yet another reason to love ols! quinn completed both a math and a language arts assessment, and seems to be right on grade level in both, for whatever that is worth.

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quinn checked out a stack of early readers from the library – one of the favorites was dinosaur time, by arnold lobel, and another little series called detective dinosaur. in keeping with his need for fresh material that isn’t already memorized (in order to actually practice reading), he read them each forward and read some backwards, too.

also in language arts, we began a poetry unit at ols, and worked on long vowel sounds.

in his spanish lessons, quinn learned the song la araña pequeñita (aka the itsy-bitsy spider) and learned the names of los animales.

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science was focused on rocks and minerals this month, by popular vote. we made a geology layer cake together as a group, and talked about the way the earth’s crust is formed, and how old the various layers are. we also watched bill nye’s episode on the earth’s crust.

math was focused mainly on the assessment, but we also played the game race for a flat, which helps with learning place value. interlox makes a pretty handy set of units/rods/flats for this, and the game is in their manual.

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in art, we practiced still life drawing for several lessons. we also got to take a tour of toledo clayworks, where our ceramics work has been traveling for firing all year. this was a wonderful trip, and the kids got to see their community-made teapot and begin work on glazing it; they studied the making of textures, extruding clay, saw a pot-throwing demonstration on the wheel, and got to visit the kiln.

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it was fun to see the students’ work on the same shelves with professional pieces. quinn’s leonardo cup (his second of his set of 4 ninja turtle slab cups planned) is shown here on the “finished” shelf. i think whoever made the head/gears sculpture above attended school somewhere like ols…

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after the clayworks tour, we had a picnic in the park. some of the kids, including quinn, couldn’t eat right away because they were too caught up in the merry-go-round.

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also this month we had an egg hunt, after studying the history behind easter and ostara. we also had a wonderful family-filled earth day celebration.

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here is quinn doing his part to care for the school, raking the rubber mulch under the play structure to level it out.

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he made this awesome tie dye shirt at after school program. he chose such a cool design, don’t you think? he even got a ruler out to measure it out precisely how he wanted it to look!

quinn has also been getting more and more comfortable with dogs, including hershey at ols, and has taken an interest in working with romper, the chihuahua we have been long-term babysitting.

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all in all, another delightful month!

1 comment to ~a month of unschool~ the merry-go-round went around again

  • Leticia

    Ah, Quinn. I love reading these posts. It soothes me.
    What assessment did Quinn take? Mosaic School is in its first year and Nancy was looking for assessments for the 3rd and 5th graders this year.

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