Whenever I think about our family’s “great homeschooling experiment,” I can’t help but wonder if it’s legal for learning to be this fun! If you visit us on an ordinary “school day,” you’ll be hard-pressed to say that we are doing school at all! More often than not, we are lolling about in bed, reading and talking. If you’ve been following this blog, you would know that I am not a crafty-mama at all. And even if I manage to print some of the cute free printables out there, we are still not able to use them much.
What do we do instead?
Well, we follow our children’s lead and interest, and think (at the last minute ;)) of activities that they would like. That’s what happened when we read the Five in a Row book “Mirette on the High Wire.” Well, actually, this is how our usual “school day” goes!
“Mirette on the High Wire” is a story about Mirette, a little French girl who is is intrigued by Bellini, a famous tight rope walker who is staying in her mother’s boarding house. He eventually mentors her and she, in turn, is able to help him overcome his crippling fear.
Bellini has performed all over the world, and the story shows him in exotic places. We again played with our world map jigsaw puzzle just to become familiar with countries and cities. We also put blu-tack on our wall map as we read about each country mentioned in the book.
Mirette’s mother runs a busy boardinghouse. We talked about what boardinghouses are and how to prepare when there are expected guests. Little T is not happy with just talking, though. We HAD to pretend that we were running a boardinghouse, and so washed blankets, swept the floor, and made some stew.
The story has a lot of compound words in it, such as boardinghouse and spotlight. I discovered during this time that Little T likes simple card games that she can manipulate. We now make our own games with just paper and a pen. To introduce compound words to her, I asked her to match words to make compound words. She wanted to keep going and going and going.
Several pictures on the book show Bellini or Mirette on a high wire. We measured the tightrope on the pictures in inches, then proceeded to measure different objects around the house. We learned that there are 12 inches in one foot in a very hands-on way.
Bellini tells Mirette that once you start walking in the sky, you will never be happy with your feet on the ground. Pretending to walk on the tight rope is one of the activities that Little T never tires of doing. We first did it when we read The Runaway Bunny when she was younger, and she feels compelled to “walk on a tight rope” whenever she sees a straight line anywhere! Do you see the clouds in the sky as Little T walks on her tight rope? 🙂
Learning is really fun, and it doesn’t need to be confined within the walls of a classroom. When we embraced the idea of joyful learning and threw away our ideas about “behaving” and sitting quietly in school, the world became more interesting and engaging. So, I hope that when you read my posts about our school days, you would come away feeling that you can do this too.