Saturday, October 4, 2014

Unschooling style grocery trip

Some kids go to school for like 6 hours a day. Some kids do schoolwork at home. Some kids are unschooled.
Unschooling is basically just the philosophy that children can prosper simply by learning through life, parents provide opportunities for children to learn through daily life and interests and play. Life and interests are a natural motivator to learn and children (all people actually) learn best when the motivation comes from within and is focused on an interest the person has.
I try to always see and utilize the natural learning experiences life provides. (Try! I'm working on doing it more).
Today at the grocery store Ellie (3.5) helped read the signs, helped write codes on the bulk bin tags and I explained how we know how much something costs. (Social knowledge, math).
Ellie learned letter recognition when we checked the bulk item tags against the bins, (I write curly 2s, the sign has flat bottomed 2s). (Literacy)
We weighed the package of mushrooms to see how the scale pointed to 8oz which is half way to the pound mark, then read the package where it said 8oz (math and science ) (I realize these are advanced topics for her to master.)
She counted the peaches as we bagged them up. (Math)
Ellie told me what letters were on the fruit signs so we could find the peaches, (literacy) and used texture to tell the difference between nectarines and peaches. (Fine motor development)
She used small motor control writing on the tags and large motor control hanging on the cart, lifting groceries and and scooping from the bins. (Physical development). Learned impulse control sitting in the cart after loading groceries on the bin. (Physical development)
We read the granola bar names and she found which one had a C for cashews. (Moons as she calls them, cashews not Cs). (Literacy)
Looking at cereal bars, she "read" the boxes by looking at the fruit pictures on the box (early literacy, representation) to find the one she wanted.
We read ingredients to find some juice that wasn't mostly sugar. We talked about healthy drinks and treat drinks. (Health and physical development)
We talked about how the deli closes at night because less people want pizza and smoothies late at night. (Social knowledge).
She moved out of other people's way and we said excuse me, and waited our turn to talk to the cashier. (Social development).

While this trip took a little longer than normal for what we were getting, it was also more peaceful because I was really paying attention to Ellie and remembering that she is only 3 and I kept appropriate expectations for her. She wasn't bored and she felt proud of contributing. Her ideas were heard since she had some say as to what we bought (she begged for broccoli and carrots, mom win!)

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