Learning Spanish for fun

At the moment, we have 5 languages on the weekly schedule. One a day, monday to friday. Tuesday we learn Spanish from the book “Spanish” from Pirana. Spanish is the wish of my youngest daughter. She has fallen in love with that language. In the video below you can see an example of how this learning could take place. When we listen to Spanish language music, we often look up the lyrics and try to understand them. We don’t intend to become great Spanish speakers, but have fun looking into that language too.

How and why do we learn Chinese?

We have now had Chinese on the weekly schedule for the past 3 years. Our oldest daughter is very interested in languages and their structure, so it was a wish from her. The rest of the children find Chinese fun, because it involves drawing and funny sounds.

We use the material we come across, and in the beginning we found it very hard to find any child friendly material, so we mainly used what we could find on the internet. The best help to start of with, was the site: Chinese language .

Then we discovered the material from Chineasy and things got just so much more fun. It is a woman who has tried to introduce Chinese learning in an easier way. Tedtalk with ShaoLan is interesting to watch. We bought the books and the flash cards. This really opened our mind to flashcards and we now used them in most of the language training we do.

Can we now speak and write Chinese? No way near that yet. But we are humble and grateful every time we get a small step closer to the understanding of the structure of the language. We practice our pronounciation on our friend in the local Chinese shop, where she patiently listens to us doing our best to communicate. But until now, she has not been very impressed, just happy to see our interest in her language.

How do we learn about history?

Well, history is everything. 1 second ago is history. The dinosaurs are history, our favorite music is history. History is how we learn to understand the present. How we learn to deal with the future. In our home school we learn about history in multiple ways. Often it is through interdisciplinary studies, where two or more subjects are mixed together in the learning process. Most history lessons are spend on trips to museums, but we do also teach classical history lessons around the table every week. At the moment we teach from a Nils Hartmann book called “The History of Danish Kings and Queens written for Children”. Usually the children listen to me read aloud from the book and then they take notes and we talk about the written piece and calculate the age of the King and other people mentioned. We also try to relate that time period to today and also look up different things we want to know more about or don’t understand. When we finish a book we start another one, the choice is based on what we find interesting or what time period we have not covered yet. Some times we have guest pupils from other home schools, who take part in our joined age group lessons. The picture below is from a recent trip to Jutland, Århus, where we visited one of the childrens favorite museums, “The Old Town in Århus”. We love museums where you really can interact with the exhibitions and “live” the period.

 

The magic of life

How do we teach our children about reproduction? Well, we just answer their questions, as they arise. Having 4 children in 10 years, brings out questions about reproduction all the time. I have promised myself a few things. One of them is that I will not keep anything secret for my children. If they ask, they are ready to get an answer. Then it is your responsability, as a parent to be there for them to follow them through understanding a subject. Nothing is to hard for a child to understand, if you serve it in a age related way. Especially not reproduction. It is what life is all about. Our childrens grandmother, gave the book used in the video to our children. It is an old book written by Per Holm Knudsen and is called “Sådan får man et barn”. The model of a baby in the womb is from the Tiger Store and the T-shirt is from eksperimentarium.dk.

It is all about music

Music is a really big part of our home school. We sing, dance and perform most of the day. But that is just the way we show that we are happy. Often one of us take out one of our many song books, and just sing songs we choose one person after the other (everybody gets to choose just as many songs). We listen to music on you tube and dance around the living room, so that the plaster falls down from the ceiling in the cellar. Music is happiness and freedom to us.

Quadratic equation explained by our 13 year old daughter

When would you use a quadratic equation? We tried to find a practical example, where you could use quadratic equations in real life. It was a good  opportunity to work with quadratic equations and get a wider understanding of equations generally.

Pour a concrete slab around a swimming pool. The pool measures 5m * 3m, and you can make a 48m² terrace with one pallet of cement. Calculate how wide the terrace should be all the way around. It must be the same width on all sides.

How do you learn to read?

When we first started out homeschooling, we, talked about how to teach the children to read. There was so many methods, but one in particular stood out. A new company, Alkalær had just published a series of books, which worked with the idea, that all children can learn to read using phonics. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent. Children can then start to read words by blending the sounds together to make a word. Alkalær had at that time an offer of a series of their books and we invested in that package. At first our oldest child was not that interested, but after a few months she started with them and soon learned to read phonic words. All the books were also in majuscule, which really made it easier for the very young children to focus on the reading and not struggling with different versions of minuscule. The children found the layout and stories very funny and crazy. As you can see on the film below our younger kids also learned to read through those books. At the moment our youngest child is also enjoying the system and we have invested in another new book from Alkalær “Læs nu løs” and a song book of the same title. There was also a song book in the first set we bought, and I have no idea how many times we have danced all together or in own space to those books. They are really wonderful. Reading is the beginning of all self learning. When you can read, you can read a math exercise and look up how to understand it. You can read your way to all the other subjects.

Circus performance 30th of June 2018.

30th of June 2018 we held a Cirkus and Market in our garden. It all started with us talking about making a play in the garden, as we had already done twice. Then one of my daughters said:”I would rather make a Cirkus and a Market, this year”. So I thought about it, and could not see anything wrong with that idea. All the other children also thought it could be fun to try. So we started reading books about cirkus and creative books about the subject. So we sat down and wrote all the acts and stalls we would like to have and quickly saw that we did not have enough artist. So we announced our idea in our Homeschooling network and 2 families wanted to take part. So we made a plan for how and when we would meet and practice and make props, costumes and so on. So for 3 months we met up every second tuesday for 3 hour and worked on the show. It was hard work and great fun. It was also challenging, as in when you throw yourself into a new unexplored area, you find out many new things about yourself. We also decided to charge an entrance fee. It should be symbolic, but an amount the children could use to calculate with. It was decided that the children should split the entrance fee, so they would feel more part of the project. When the show date arrived, it all went very well and we had an audience of nearly 50 people.