Posted by: katlea611 | November 6, 2008

Lessons Past and Present

We’re still trudging on, folks!  And still very eclectic.

We have been trying different things for the past weeks.  We tried painting and Ethan still likes doing it but I noticed without much of his usual enthusiasm.  He would do just a few sheets and then lose interest.  I don’t know if it’s because in Manila, we used to do our painting activity in the balcony and perhaps the outdoors just stimulates the artistic imagination in him.  Nikki and I also did some games like Halloween bingo (which I downloaded from the internet and which Nikki had a lot of fun doing), pin the stem on the pumpkin (also from the ‘net) and Snakes and Ladders. Nikki still hasn’t learned how to lose gracefully and will often feel very bad or be close to tears when he loses a game.  I always remind him that it doesn’t matter whether he wins or loses as long as he had fun.

We have also been to the playground several times which the boys appreciate thoroughly.  Ethan loves to write on the sand and Nikki just wants to interact with other kids and master the bars.  We did some badminton the other day and it was encouraging to see Nikki try really hard.  He’s not a very physical boy but I know that with encouragement, he could be as physically adept as Ethan.

Of course, Nikki still does his worksheets and I try not to give him too challenging lessons because he tends to be disappointed easily when he can’t get the answers or if e misunderstands the instructions/lessons.  I always tell him it’s okay and we’ll try another day.

Online games are also Nikki’s favorite now.  He does this game that teaches strategy and I am amazed at his persistence.  He didn’t get one of the puzzles and asked his dad for help and now, he’s always turning to his dad for help in strategic games.  Oh boy. Ethan is starting to be interested in such games too, but still not too much.  He’s still doing his own thing, learning his own way and I’m not pushing him.

Oh yeah, and they now know the Sign Language alphabet.  Don’t ask me how. One day, at the train station, they just suddenly started moving their fingers and recited the alphabet.  It took me a second to realize that it was Sign Language and something I learned when I was a Girl Scout.  Wow.  If this isn’t unschooling, I don’t know what is.

Hmmm, let me see.  We also had a nature walk, leaf collection project, and Nikki now knows the different teeth (incisors, canines, molars).  We also reviewed past lessons and read the stories I (again) downloaded and printed from the internet.  Nikki particularly likes the Aesop fables The Sun and The Wind and The Tortoise and the Hare. More favorite stories to follow.

Despite our activities, I’ve still had some panic attacks about our lessons, our progress and if we should be doing more, more, more.  But again, I can only listen to my boys, assess their readiness and always, always just make learning fun for them.  And me.

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