September was really the first month I could count as really “homeschooling” our son. And, since we chose a Christian Unschooling approach, we treated September with more of an “unknown waters” attitude.
Knowing myself and my tendencies to try to control situations, I still set my eyes upon two curriculums I thought my son would enjoy. One is Sonlight – a Christian, literature-based curriculum and Singapore Math (only because my homeschooling mentor suggested this and I hate everything to do with numbers so I just trusted her and went with it for now).
He seems to LOVE reading, so using literature was a no-brainer. He also LOVES numbers. This is where I was at a loss. And since he’s still so young, I pretty much just left the math workbooks laying around and he’d pick them up and go through them on his own.
But after doing my research on unschooling, I learned that first you have to unschool yourself. Then you can begin unschooling your children. So my tendencies to control situations were quickly upended.
I’m still not a completely radical unschooler, however, where I allow my child to do whatever he wants whenever he wants, including watching television at all hours of the day. I instead, like to find his interests and build upon them either with opportunities, experiences or curriculum he can work on if he so chooses.
That being said, although we filled our days with more reading and a few workbooks, September was also a great month to start setting up a routine and schedule for the coming months. Unschooling does not mean “unparenting” or no course of action. Instead, we started following our homeschooling mission statement: “Not to save our children from a failing academic future, but to guide them through our fallen world and into their God-given purpose.” We’re giving ourselves room to modify our mission statement as the years go on.
All that being said, September looked a lot like this:
- Daily Devotionals
- A lot of reading. We got through half the Sonlight Core A books. The other half he has no interest in reading. Which is totally cool. We just filled our bags up at the library and continued to read outside of those boundaries.
- Random workbooks (Dinosaurs, Math, Number games like dot-to-dot, Ready for School basic stuff…etc.)
- Some fall arts & crafts (like collecting leaves and putting them in contact paper for the windows)
- Puzzles, board games, mazes
Again, since we had to undo “schooling” I tried not to impose my agenda on our son’s days. Instead, let him feel out what he wanted to do. If that meant playing, then he played. If that meant reading with mom, we did it. Again, all within the schedule boundaries we set up at home.
We did a few specific things like learning about Brazil, baking, creating his first book, starting drumming lessons, going on hikes, and making sure we spent the last warm month outside as much as possible.
He also accompanied his dad and grandfather to Chicago where he experienced watching a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, a Stanford football game, standing on top of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) on the glass platform as well checking out the amazing Chicago science museum!
The best part was when the school bus picks up neighborhood children, our son gets so excited (for now) that he gets to stay in his pajamas and hang out with mom. 🙂
And on September 30th, we got to welcome my sister (his Aunt) home from South Korea where she’s teaching English to students. He was so excited… and October became such an awesome month because the two of them spent a lot of time together!
How was your September?