What We’ve been up to this week

This last week has been very educational for both children and parents.
Cassie and Eric have been to Underwater World twice in 3 days. They are looking in books to learn more about some of the fish and sharks they saw and also research about sharks they do not get to see at the aquarium, such as Great Whites.

Eric is teaching Cassie to use Wikipedia, of all things.
Eric says, "I should use Wikipedia more to find out things instead of always asking you, dad."
Cassie said,"I will be using Wikipedia a lot when I learn how to read.”

She spends time reading with her mommy, but still lacks confidence in reading. The two little kids have been caught together reading a book about animals. There are lots of pictures and a series of Q & A about the animals. When they are in the mood, they retain just about everything they read in this book. Eric reads to Cassie and it's so cute!

Eric has been asking me a lot of questions about history and science. He is learning a lot, but it's useless to try to recount it all. That would be more work than answering all the questions the kids ask! He uses Stephanie as a resource. She helps him look things up, answers some of his questions and gives him her editorial commentary on things. They all help each other, but to them, they are not sharing resources, they are just having fun. (Shouldn't that be illegal? Having fun while learning?)

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Steph earned her PADI open water scuba diving certification this week. She has completed 5 dives and will begin advanced training this weekend. She is also learning to run the business, which is a dive shop and spear fishing shop. PICT0853
In addition, the instructors there are acting as mentors and tutors for her. Dr. Richard is a Vietnam combat veteran and Navy Seal as well as a Medical Doctor. Winnie is a certified teacher who would rather dive than waste time trying to teach school. Both of these teachers are serious about their role in Steph's education. She had fun playing chess and dominos with her dive instructors in between dives and customers and filling tanks with compressed air. We are thrilled with this opportunity for her to learn from these people, both of whom are global people with tons of life experiences and immense stores of knowledge.

Dr. Richard showed us his dog tag with a bullet hole right through it. It is on a chain with the smashed bullet that tumbled through his flesh when he got shot three times during his last day in the jungle. You can read about those things, but you cannot see the real thing and hear it from the mouth of the wounded veteran if you are stuck in a classroom with 29 kids your age and a certified teacher, or even at the kitchen table doing math worksheets with your homeschooled siblings. Too many activities, instigated for the purpose of making sure everyone knows you are out there being socialized, can preclude the possibility of taking time to fully enjoy and learn from this kind of impromptu meeting. Combat veterans do not always want to talk; you cannot just make an appointment for them to open up. It must be the right timing and the right people. They will not expose their inner demons and scarring memories to someone who is not interested or to someone who is morbidly interested.

When I meet a combat veteran, I listen respectfully and let them know I am open. They often take advantage of this openness and I am sure it is therapeutic for them. I know it is a uniquely powerful experience for me and, sometimes, my kids.

Can you imagine inviting this guy to speak to a classroom of kids about his experiences in battle? Nope. Ain't gonna happen. Unschooling may have weaknesses; I am certain our critics are keeping score, but  I know our style of education opens doors of opportunity other can only dream of. And if they do not dream of it, that's too bad; it means the ability to even think of possibilities has been crushed by a slavish adherence to a school mentality.

I have listened to several veterans from various wars tell their tales. I could write a book about these men. I am honored to know them, to hear their stories, and to perhaps help them release a little of the pressure.

Hey, I am still getting an education, too. When I stop learning, how am I going to tell my kids to keep learning?

So there is some info about our week of unschooling. Good luck matching that with a program or curriculum!

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Accountability

We have decided to start this journal to keep track of our children's life lessons learned in our homeschool journey. We believe that as parents we are accountable for our own children's education. It is up to us to make sure we prepare them to be active and responsible citizens, not a drain on society. So this blog will be a place where we can share our daily lessons and activities that we incorporate into our homeschool.


About Me

Colleen
Mother to 9 children, 5 on earth and 4 in heaven. Married for 32 years.
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Unschooling is learning as you live life. All of life involves learning. This is what we "teach" our children.

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