Mar 24, 2008

Truly A Natural

I had a discussion with KM this afternoon and am a bit impressed by it.

Here is the history behind our discussion:

Prior to our homeschooling we did what a lot of families call "afterschooling". In essence this means we did extra work in addition to her schoolwork because she needed and wanted to be challenged. During school vacations and summer we would do one or two things each day. When we were on vacations away from home we would also do different workbooks, crosswords, learning games and of course always threw in an educational field trip or two. That is just how our family worked. I never understood why the system continued to have summer vacation, I don't know too many families around here who need the kids help on the family farms anymore. IMHO - it really just leads to three months of "refresher" from September to late November, just in time for them to have another vacation before they really start learning in January so that they can take the MCAS starting in March.

So today KM said - "What are we doing this summer?" I was a little surprised at first because we pretty much always do the same things - camping, lots of park and beach trips, swimming, friends houses, she goes fishing with CJ a lot - ya know summer things - so I was a bit confused as to what she meant.
"Am I going to have to do school EVERYDAY ALL DAY?" was what she had meant to ask.
So I was unsure as to how to answer this question because I really hadn't thought too much about it as we are really just getting things in a good comfortable groove.
"What do you think we should do?" I asked her - I often get her opinion on things for input but also to give me an extra few seconds to think before answering her.
"Well I think that we have had enough change lately. I think we should keep doing our work over the summer just a little bit less than usual," she replied with a very serious look on her face, as if she had been really thinking about it for awhile. "I think that is the best use of our time."

I was shocked, floored, awed, and amazed! As I have been sitting here thinking and typing about it, I have been trying to think about the last time we did something where she wasn't learning...I honestly don't know when that was. Lately everything she watches has been educational, nearly all the games she has been playing have been educational, her nose is in a book whenever I turn around and it is ALL by her choice. Even right now as I type she is playing in the backyard and trying to figure out a way to make her doll's zip-line go faster. She truly loves to learn and discover and I feel we are all blessed that she now has the opportunity to be a true natural learner.

After removing the rings from the swing set to add SC's toddler swing, this is her ingenious use of spare swing set parts!!!

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