Willow is not a TV watching kid. She never has been, In fact, the only time she actually sits for a movie is in the van on a road trip or if we go to the theater :) But, we watched lots of movies and lots of episodes of Spongebob...I like Spongebob but I swear if I never see another episode of it I will be just fine! We watched The Tale of Despereaux, Ice Age Dawn of The Dinosaurs, and Curious George. Cute movies. I think my favorite was Curious George though. Especially when the guy in the yellow hat tells the crowd:
" I have just one important thing to say, anyone can memorize facts and figures, the real way to learn anything is to go out and experience it and let your curiosity lead you"
That could be our motto :) I love our life!
Friday night, Kathy and I went on a girls night out. We saw 2012! It was nonstop action. Mara was bummed that I did not take her, but she has a thing with the whole Yellowstone Super Volcano and so I needed to see it first.
We ended up seeing it again on Sunday...me, David, Kathy, Justin Josh and Mara. They all really liked it. Willow went to Beach's house. She would have not liked it, especially since the little girl in the movie is totally her! Same age and crazy about hats :)
Saturday we had our first HUGE snow! It was beautiful. I should have taken some pics, but I was too busy getting ready for an Unschooling support group meeting I was hosting.
We had an AWESOME meeting. I am so lucky to be surrounded with other families that treat their children with respect. It it so refreshing, especially living in place where authoritative parenting is the norm. We talked for about 4 hours and plan to do it monthly. Some of the points we touched on were:
- honoring every person's right in the family while meeting the needs of each individual.
- modeling a love of learning through pursuing your own interests
- remembering that a real life has moments of anger,sadness and boredom
- honoring the "ebb and flow" of real learning
- parenting in a respectful way, without degrading punishment
- remembering that your kids are amazing right now, as they are, who they are
I am so happy we have started doing this. For me, there is no question, unschooling is the way to educate. It has been that way for me ever since Aspen was 2 years old. Sure, any one of my kids can sit and memorize a bunch of facts and take the required test and pass it with flying colors, but that in no way demonstrates learning. That demonstrates their ability to memorize a bunch of facts and take a test. My children are fortunate that they do not have their childhood wasted by such acts. The funny thing is, when they do have to take a test...drivers ed, college admissions..etc..they pass with flying colors. I love what my friend Melissia always says "public school is such a terrible waste of childhood". You are so right Melissia!
I never have to stand over my child and demand that they finish a homework assignment or complete a task that takes from doing what they truly love. My children have grown up being self-directed learners. When they take on something, they do it 100% on their own, asking for help when they see the need. They are also self initiated learners, meaning they go after the things that interest them most, along the way they get all that "stuff" that public school says "you must have to be considered a success". I am so lucky to have kids that have no problem speaking their voice. Kids that question EVERYTHING. I would not have it any other way.
They let their curiosity lead them.
Yesterday I have the honor of playing D and D with some amazing kids. I say honor, because even though Josh has been playing for years, and I have been watching, I never actually joined in. I knew there was a lot of math...algebraic equations, critical thinking and imagination..but what I did not know was how hard and complex it was going to be! I had a blast. I loved watching these kids reason out the problems, figure out percentages, create huge events and story lines on the spot and to see the prep that went onto the campaign. I had so much fun and was so excited that Mara joined in too. She had a lot of fun also. She said her favorite part was weighing the decisions that were put in front of you.
Josh did a Birthday party on Saturday night. He made a 45 minute D and D campaign for a gaming themed party. There were about 8 kids. According to the mom he did a great job and the kids loved it. There was one kid that said" so what pops out..what is digital?" Josh told him, nothing pops out...you have to use you imagination on this one. They played it and loved it! Even a kid that has autism and adhd sat through the game!
I can tell you right now, Josh would not be who he is if he were in public school. He would not have that amazing imagination. He certainly would not want to hang out with 10 yr olds and he would be too busy to play D and D with his mom because he would have way too much busy work. None of my kids would be who they are, they would be little molds of what someone else wanted them to be. That is not good enough for me.
Curiosity drives our family. I am so glad it does.