Monday, October 01, 2007

Konnichi wa!

This week was a departure from our usual routine and schedule. We had an Unschooling week! Here is our Unschooling Japan Week in review.


Miss M was thrilled with our unschooling plans this week! She started the day with (what else?) art projects. She worked for about an hour making an Origami crane and a Japanese paper fan. For the next couple of hours, she did her AWANAS and required reading. After her snack and typing less
on, I was pretty much done with my decluttering for the morning! It seemed light and fun, although I am so used to our structured time schedule. It was hard for ME to get used to the extra time it takes for a child to choose which activity to do. It is a valuable learning experience though, since we are used to having our daily checklist laid out and simply following it. Day 1 was definitely a success! We rewarded ourselves by taking an afternoon shopping trip. : )

HS Co-op picture day -- only one photographer showed up, so this took WAY too long! Required Reading -- finished Mieko and the Fifth Treasure and continued with Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun. Art -- made cool origami wreath to decorate her room and an origami bird puppet with a moving beak! Language Arts -- wrote a simple story using some Japanese characters for some of the words. Got some exercise by working on some funky dance moves with our Jump 5 dance video. We also ended up doing a CLE math lesson.

Japanese Character story

Did lots of reading today! Read 3 book basket books on Martial Arts, and portions of Enchantment of the World: Japan. She also finished Sadako and the Paper Cranes. Miss M wanted to do her CAT testing (she things standardized testing is fun!) and she worked on that an hour or so. Of course, she didn't neglect doing some Origami. : ) For a Japan country report, she chose to make a "Culture Quilt" from Country Report Projects for Any Country. For the project, she made 'fabric' that represents Japan's culture.

On her "Culture Quilt" she included:
rice and chopsticks
Sumo wrestlers
high ponytail hairstyle
swords to represent Samurai
Japanese calligraphy characters
hats to represent traditional dress
Japan's flag
tea cups to represent the Tea Ceremony

Japanese Culture Quilt

Read Japanese folk tales from the book basket, a book from the library called Tales from the Bamboo Grove, and finished up her CAT test. I can't believe how much my former reluctant reader is READING! Yay! If you have had a reluctant reader, you know what I'm talkin' about. : ) To top off the day, Miss M worked on improving her typing skills with our Disney typing program and then attended my Physical Science co-op class.

Since Miss M got all of her work done, she is taking the morning off to help me with a few chores, bake some muffins, and then we plan to watch an episode from the old tv mini-series "Shogun" that I ordered from Nextlix. Did I mention that I love, love, love Netflix? in her reading time she discovered the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series (this is a new series for me, too!) and devoured The Mystery of Ura Senke (Choose Your Own Adventure #13)

This Week's Origami Collection

Our Unschooling Japan week was a rousing success! I got a TON of stuff done (though not as much as I would have LIKED!) and Miss M was learning. I am going to take every 7th week as our Unschooling Week and use it to declutter and catch up on big or neglected chores. It feels so good to get some of it done for once.

Sayonara for now, and have a great week-end!


LisaWA said...

As usual! You have inspired me! *Ü* What a wonderful week! I like your idea of every 7 weeks have an unschooling week..... it seems it could be a wonderful way to refresh... organize and re group form all the structure! Sounds good to me!

Cant wait for next weeks post!


Quiver0f10 said...

It looks like you had a fun week! I bet it felt great to get things uncluttered, too. I am tempted unschool next week and do the same LOL

Rhonda said...

I just love all the origami. It sounds like it was a great week. I'm so glad it was successful.

I'm definitely keeping the unschooling week in mind for the busy weeks when life just seems to overwhelm me.

Michelle said...

Having an unschooling week every so many weeks sounds like a great way to unwind and get some other things done. I will keep this in mind!

I love all the origami and the Japanese culture quilt! Great job!

Tina said...

What a fun week! I love it!!

I like this idea a lot. Something to ponder/consider.

Let Ms. M know we think she did an awesome job!

Have a great weekend!


Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

I love Miss M's projects and how great that you got some stuff done that needed to get done. what a graet balance of productivity and education!

Tammy said...

What a fabulous idea...and a great way to keep the *fun* in learning! And I love how Miss M's projects turned out!

Jennefer said...


Oh wow! I am so impressed and this concept of "unschooling" every so often is *definitely* going to become part of our school somehow!

Right now I use our entire summer break to do all spring cleaning, de-cluttering, catching up on scrapbooks, and all house projects. It's too much in that amount of time. This is a much more balanced way to do things!

Thanks for sharing!