We have a very loose idea of what school should be around here. Being eclectic with a very strong "unschooling" vein in my schooling, I take whatever opportunities I can to teach my kids. Utilizing such experiences as a dog bite, a episode of MeerKat Manor, or a weekend Master Gardeners class for extra learning opportunities has become second nature to me this year.
The Master Gardeners class was yesterday. We picked Alex up from his Spring Boy Scout Camp Out, and were off, with just enough time for him to change his shirt, to "Growing At The Fair", put on by the Master Gardeners in our area. The kids got to go see a really nice children's garden, and then got to sit through an hour long talk about pumpkins, garden styles, how to enter your produce into the fair, and how plants grow. After that, they got to plant a pumpkin and hear a talk about how to make seed tape and then they got some of their own carrot seeds to make seed tape with at home. It was fascinating... and I was only in their for half of it as Logan was bored after a while and we went to walk about the gardens again.
With the kids plants growing in my main produce garden, in Cyan's mini garden that she planted during the Garden Math Class sprouting radishes like mad, and their pumpkins on the window sill, this house is starting to be full of Spring life. It is neat to see how many learning opportunities you can get from just one task: growing your own food.
Art is also something I really encourage. I am not a fan of painting... I find it much too messy for our tiny house... but I do encourage drawing, clay art, and fiber art (creative sewing, those little beads that you iron shapes out of, decoupage, and collage). So when Cyan got into the rainy day box today and found these blank puzzles, she had a blast planning, and then finishing her puzzles for her penpals while listening to Shakespeare for Children on CD (I LOVE audio books!):
"A moose on a hill and a log"
"A fisher girl, her house (A frame), and a sunset."
Kids are so full of natural creativity and they want to learn, they want to suck things up like sponges. It is hard for me to say "You HAVE to learn these things" and have them sit down at the table. I would much rather have her write a story about one of her puzzles here, and then have her write a letter to her penpal about it, all while sitting in the yard outside. lol... I feel like that is plenty of 'direction' for most subjects. Especially at the younger grades. I find it fascinating what their little brains come up with. The other day, while we were waiting for her prescription for the dog bite cream, Cyan was looking at the glasses in the display model and trying them on (I wear glasses)... I had her try on a pair, and as she put them back she said "I like them, but I think I will keep looking for the ideal style for me." 'Um, ok.' (As I think "You're six!) 'Knock yourself out kiddo.'
Alex, right now, is using the Perler Beads to make a man mowing his lawn, and a lady behind him in a very sweet, (and very short) purple skirt. I will show that tomorrow when he fills it in and I get it ironed. Yay for rainy day activities and audio books!
Kids are amazing!