Christmas Trees and Homeschooling

We took a break from our usual 9 am to 12 pm homeschooling in our study room to visit my pregnant sister, Carolyn. She wanted help decorating her newly bought Christmas tree. So the kids and I came over to her place and got to work.

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When you think of learning as a way of life, any activity can be an opportunity to understand something new, develop a skill, explore, discover, invent, or create.

I had the kids string the ornaments and tie knots to secure the string which was a practice in fine motor skills for the little ones.

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The kids worked together which encouraged collaboration. Some would string and others would tie the knots. They had to conceptualize a process to get their task done.

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They had to use an artistic eye to determine which ornaments should go where to achieve balance and symmetry.

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To incorporate math, I asked the boys to figure out how to divide the ribbon into equal parts so I could make bows. I asked Tiana to count the ornaments.

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Completing the decor was an exercise in perseverance because I didn’t let them take a break until we finished the tree.

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The longer I homeschool, the more I realize that books aren’t the only way learn. But, as parents we can be too set in the idea that learning must happen in a classroom, with a certain set of parameters that we miss out on opportunities that surround our children every day. We need to remember and trust that children are learning all the time. With a measure of intentionality, every experience children have can incorporate content and subject matter that would be boring for them to read in a book. And when knowledge is purposefully applied it becomes meaningful. It is also more fun!

One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

Garage sale homeschooling. That’s what I would like to think of our garage sale experience two weekends ago. Elijah got to put his math skills into practice. He earned 1,500 pesos for selling toys. The other boys sorted through their old things and put prices on each item.

This was a collaborative effort between Tan-Chis and Mendozas that turned into a fun bonding day for all of us. Our own family didn’t earn much, just 7k at the end of the day but hey, people were willing to buy our junk and our home was majorly de-cluttered. Plus, Elijah learned how hard it is to make money. He was trying to convince a whole lot of people to buy our old toys and I thought he did a great job.

We can’t wait to do this again!

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