We went for our nature inquiry co-op today, after being out of action for more than a month thanks to the kids catching 3 bugs in a row. It was great being able to get out, even though it was really hot!
I realize that we've not done much planned or structured learning for the past month or so. In the midst of the bugs, all we've stuck to are my afternoons with Junior J, for him to learn phonics as well as practice his reading and writing. All learning aside from this was incidental: we just read books when we could, broke up fights, and let them play.
Even though its just about 45 minutes of "official" lessons on weekdays for Junior J thus far, its quite satisfying to see how much we've covered by just sticking to it: we're more than halfway through the phonics guide, he's read aloud Bob books from all 5 levels and has progressed to harder books, and is actually volunteering to do more writing (but of course he's still working on making his letters less wobbly). I'm glad this bit is working out.
That aside, it has been quite amazing to see how the three of them play together these days. They like playing with Baby J, and the two older boys pretend to go on all sorts of adventures when they are left on their own (which is pretty often). We've tried playing games together but that has been a little hard as all Lil J wants is to run away with all the little bits and bobs:
... but wow, the things they come up with on their own are really interesting! They set up school, with Lil J as a student, and Junior J as the teacher, and proclaim I am the principal. Their classroom is a huge mess, but has cushions on the floor for seats, and they have the courtesy to eat their recess outside their classroom. They even pack food into their lunchboxes! What are they learning in school, I ask them. They tell me they are learning to play, which I think is a very good thing to learn indeed.