Posted by: ginki0 | February 18, 2017

Bonfire Learning

I have a tendency to mistrust our chosen learning process sometimes, simply because it’s so hard to demonstrate progress and so different than traditional schooling. However, one of the main reasons we educate the way we do is because it is so different than traditional schooling. Still, I fret.

And then other times, I have days like today, where really a ton of learning went on (yes, it’s Saturday. Yes, you can learn things on Saturdays). We decided we needed to put our collective parental foot down on the boys’ media usage because Bugs has been a little too into it especially. Basically, that’s all he wanted to do. No projects, plus he was quickly becoming frustrated with learning things. Bad news. Once I figured out what was bugging me (his media usage interfering with his learning) it was time to intervene. We don’t intervene often, because we prize their freedom. But just as we can’t let them eat potato chips and only potato chips, we can’t let them consume only junk media. Mostly they are eating well (and consuming media at a reasonable rate), but sometimes the pull is too much. Then we step in.

Anyway, we forced them to go outside to enjoy the beautiful mid-50 degree weather (gasp!) and play. Daddy and I took the opportunity to do some chores- Daddy put the swings back up, picked up some fallen sticks, and partially cleaned out the shed, and I planted some daffodils and removed the old straw bale that was still in front of the house from fall. Yuck. We decided to burn it, and while it burned, so much learning took place. It was amazing- everything I love about homeschooling.

Rocky spent the vast majority of his time swinging or playing in the sandbox. Ninja complained for a while (he is really an indoors kind of kid) and then got into swinging and practicing riding his bike. Bugs had an attitude. However, once he got into swinging, he came around and helped me keep an eye on the fire (sometimes a little too much). And we talked- boy, can Bugs talk! But it reminded me how much he learns simply through conversation.

He learns so much through conversing about the subject- a lot more than I would have expected at the start of this journey. Bugs typically discovers a subject through the Great Lessons or books or Kids YouTube, and then asks questions, and then we encourage him down various routes for more depth. For instance, today we discussed the differences between mice and bats (we saw a mouse and we checked our bat-houses), how bats migrate, fly, and hibernate, making them very special, what three things are essential for a fire, fire safety, black holes (his current obsession), why spinach gets smaller when you cook it (cell walls and water loss), the difference between plant cells and animal cells, and more I’m sure I’m forgetting. Tomorrow, he’ll likely explore one of these topics in more depth. Yeah, tomorrow’s Sunday, but you can learn on Sundays, too!

Ninja learned that complaining is not beneficial 🙂 and also learned physical movement skills, which are important. That swinging and bike riding will pay off for him later on.

All in all, it was a good day. No pictures- I was spending too much time just enjoying life with the family. 🙂

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