Monday, January 25, 2010


It all started with a warehouse-sized pack of toilet paper.

Because I'm lazy Because I like to teach my children responsibility, I try to think of age-appropriate chores for them to do around the house. One thing that Kyle (age 5) is assigned is putting things away. As I'm unloading groceries, he takes the shampoo bottles and toothpaste upstairs to the bathrooms. Toilet paper has to be distributed to three bathrooms, so I thought we'd do a little math with the giganto-pack of toilet paper.

"Kyle, we need to put all of this toilet paper away in the three bathrooms, okay?"

"Okay," he agrees as he tore into the plastic, "but can I build pyramids first?"

"Sure," I say, switching my lesson plan notebook from math to civil engineering or ancient history.

And build he did. He worked on the character-trait of perseverance and learned coping skills as it fell down and had to be rebuilt.

And then, yes, he got to the work of picking them up, in sets of four or five, and putting them away.

No, we're not a homeschooling family, so I don't really know the true ins and outs of Charlotte Mason versus unschooling, versus whatever other educational philosophies are out there, but from what I understand, those who adhere to the unschooling theory take advantage of every day life to teach their children (those of you who really know what you are talking about, feel free to chime in).

This is just another example of my efforts to take the best of homeschooling and merge it with a public school education (see Homeraising Mom).

I think we are doing just fine.


Carrie said...

Uh, yeah, I think you're doing just fine! =D

He looks like he had fun.

...I ought to try that!

Jennifer Zimdars said...

Haha that looks like it was a fun time! :)

Annette said...

You are definitely doing just fine!

Today's my first visit here. I enjoy you at 5 Minutes for Books too!

Kathleen Marie said...

My I haven't visited in a long while. I love the new look of your blog. How cute! Kids come up with the most clever things...

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Too funny. I was a little confused by the title since I know you don't home school. I'd say you're on the right track. :)

Laundry is another good task for 'unschooling.' Count the number of washcloths, fold towels into halves or thirds, etc. Kids have fun and mom gets the laundry done. (But don't tell the kids it's school! Us home school moms are sneaky like that.)

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Great move! You're a good (and wise) mom. :) And I love the pics of Kyle having so much fun building!

morninglight mama said...

Ah yes, this is the kind of "home schooling" that EVERYONE can do. :) Nice job documenting it, too. Looks like a fun time (and learning!) was had by all.

Kimberly said...

I also think you are doing a fine job. It is funny how when things are fun to do, kids will gladly do them. Why don't we do that more for ourselves too? Maybe housework wouldn't feel so much like housework if we made a game out of it. Hmmmm.