It is mid-July now which means Summer is in full swing. Many people ask us whether we “take the summer off”, still not quite understanding that we Learn just by Living our lives and so the question doesn’t make much sense. It’s true that the learning year is over in our DL program and so I’m not having to write weekly reports. And it’s true that Son is now finished with preschool, and there are no weekly classes or structured activities going on. But somehow learning still seems to happen.
We’ve been doing alot of hiking lately, especially now that we have a dog. Here’s a shot of the kids making silly faces on our local section of the Baden-Powell trail.
Son has suddenly decided he’s interested in crafting. He has never really drawn nor coloured, whereas his sister was scribbling before she was 2. I know that this is common for boys, who seem to develop the fine motor skills used in drawing and handwriting later than girls. It has never bothered me, since I’m a firm believer in the unschooling principle that trying to teach a child something they aren’t developmentally ready for is a waste of time. I left him to decide when he was ready and sure enough, one day a few weeks ago he decided to join us during a session of drawing and colouring. He has since participated in a few crafts, is doing rudimentary printing work, and generally just unfolding the way he is uniquely designed to do, and at his own pace. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Recently we went on a five day camping trip through the Thompson-Okanagan and South Okanagan regions of BC. We swam in lakes and rivers, the kids made friends with fellow campsite kids, the grownups relaxed and enjoyed the weather and lovely scenery.
One day, at the campground shown above, Husband was scribbling some notes in his workbook when Daughter asked if she could write in his book, too. The book is a lab notebook with graph paper sheets. She asked her father to give her words and she would try to spell them. After several words she asked if they could do some math. After some addition and subtraction she wanted to move on to multiplication, and so I told Husband about the game of drawing sets that she and I had done over the last few months. It was neat to see how Husband approached things and explained things, different from the way I did which I thought was good for Daughter to get different perspectives and ways of thinking.
I know I say this all the time here, but it still never ceases to delight me: the fact that children can actually see writing and math as just another fun activity, like playing on the swings, or swimming, or watching videos. I think this is one of the many blessings of not having kids in school: they don’t separate academic activities from anything else they do in their day.
And so depsite the fact that our days are slow and lazy, unstructured, and without much in the way of pre-scheduled activities (just the way I like ’em), the kids are growing and learning and delighting in their Unconventional Life.