Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Favorite Subjects

A few days ago someone asked Josh about his favorite subject. It isn't a word we really use at home so he didn't know what she was asking. I wasn't sure if I should step in and explain what she meant, or if I should mention something I know he enjoys (reading is always a safe answer, Josh loves reading/books/stories and nothing reassures a person about your child's educational future like telling them your kid loves to read). There was a short pause in the conversation, and she rephrased the question (something along the lines of, "What do you like learning about?"). Josh thought for a minute, smiled, and answered with something about video games. I smiled, we all laughed, and the conversation moved on.

We are definitely encountering these kinds of questions more and more now that Josh is officially "school age," and I'm sure it is something we'll figure out how to handle better with time. I really don't feel the need to explain our way of life (and learning) to strangers or acquaintances. I actually really enjoy talking about unschooling, and if I begin to open my mouth it may be hard to get me to shut up about it. But for the most part, I'm okay with letting the homeschooling equals school-at-home assumptions slide. I save my unschooling blathering for other unschoolers (or my facebook wall) and in person we are homeschoolers who have awkward pauses in conversation when you ask about curriculum. It is not a perfect solution, but it works out okay for us right now. It reminds me of a blog post I read a few days ago, which said this: 
"...how does one convey an entire philosophy of living, parenting and being present in a few sentences or minutes? It's not easy, and the risk is always there for misunderstanding and misrepresentation. It takes an entire paradigm shift, in one's thinking, understanding and living, and it's a shift that is required just about every waking moment of unschoolers and unschooling parents..."
On Bradstreet: Speaking of Unschooling
Yeah, you really don't want to ask me unless you want to hear me process my seventeen years of experience in schools and work through my whole thought process out loud, using you to further understand myself (don't worry, you probably don't have to participate all that much, I'll just keep talking).

So tonight when I was going through photos from the last week I thought it would be sort of fun and silly to list some of the "subjects" we've been "studying" around here.

marble run fun

Science (gravity, motion, momentum, acceleration, resistance, forces, direction, speed, kinetic energy, velocity, etc.)

marble run fun



Science, biology, entomology

baktus-ing on the deck

Knitting (one of the most important subjects known to humanity)

at the mud kitchen

Culinary Arts

dis big wock

Dis big wock, heeeavy! (ummm...weighing things, let's file this under mathematics)

to catch a chicken

Animal Husbandry

they are so serious

Art, Career Preparation (tattoo artist)

Trust me, my kids (and me!) are learning stuff. I'll just have to get back to you on the curriculum thing some other time.

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