Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Skyscrapers and Schooling

Wednesdays are busy right now. Since I try to limit our outside the home activities to 2 days per week, those two days can get pretty full. We limit the bookwork on busy days, but learning really never stops. Today we spent some time in the car going to pottery class and buying jeans. (Kids that spend lots of time in the dirt require jeans frequently.)

Since we homeschool, school subjects can be hard to define. Sometimes, school becomes more a life than just a part of life. For example, Pottery could be a legitimate school type course – you could count it as art instruction. But, so much more learning happens on a day like this. I don’t know what most people do in the car, but we do two things: talk or read. There are always books in the car and if there is more than one person there is always conversation as well.

Today, started with Kirk pointing out a Diesel Shovel to the younger guys. Now, in a family that loves Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel the sight of a Diesel Shovel brings excitement! And odd questions…like, “What do skyscrapers do? There was actually a moment of silence in the car today followed by laughter as I had an image of a tall building scraping clouds from the sky. But, Fastest Runner in the World was serious – What do they do? He really did not know what a skyscraper was – he was evidently picturing something that did the work of scraping the sky, and not a tall building. (Yes, we live in the country.)

There is something educational in all of this: He was making connections between the diesel shovel and the book. He was remembering details and questioning things he did not understand. Sure, it is a little thing, but it won’t stop there; he will continue to question and observe. This is what I love about homeschooling. The questions really started then: everyone asked and answered and discussed. We talked about natural gas and other fossil fuels (science), about the New London School explosion (a little Texas history), proper observation of traffic signals and signs (drivers education), then we even discussed how questions can bring about learning (Maggie actually asked, “What else can I ask?”).

So, when we were paying for our jeans and the manager asked, “Are the kids out of school today?” I could honestly answer, “No, we are homeschooled. These kids don’t get a day off!”

1 comment:

mimi said...

I really think kids learn so much more that way.

By the way, I really love Maggie's pottery piece she made, so colorful and the design's so interesting.

Looks like Dad, Kirk, fastest runner and monster truck - and even Maggie - enjoyed the big construction equipment. But then, don't they always since they go so many chances to try out all those things.

love for now, mimi