Saturday, July 4, 2009

Neglectful, Schoolish, or Option C?

I was re-reading my last post, and looking at my dining room, and it struck me how "schoolish" is looks with the flags and the maps and the numbers. It made me laugh, because I just finished reading a homeschooler's blog post where she bashed unschoolers, saying that we are neglecting our children's education and not providing them with any opportunities. So, while the schoolish looking parts of our house are only a fraction of the learning that happens here, I thought I'd share what happened when I bought them.

I was actually helping E look for something to spend her own money on when I saw the map of Europe and the numbers poster at the store. I threw them in the cart without saying anything, and then lifted her up so she could see the higher shelves. She picked out chalk and some glittery lotion. She also thought about buying some chapstick, but she only had two dollars. She decided not to get the chapstick, because we have some at home, but we didn't have any glittery lotion at home. At the checkout, she saw the gum and decided she wanted it. I reminded her she only had two dollars, and she choose to put back the lotion in place of the gum.

In the car, I showed her the things I had bought for her. She was excited and couldn't wait to get home to put them on the wall. When we got home, I hung them up, and she asked me to tell her the names of the countries. I told her a few, and then D walked up and we started talking about the location of Scotland and Ireland and how that affected the land wars between those countries and England. Then E wanted to look at the map on the computer. So, I brought up mapquest, and we looked at the whole world. Then I zoomed in on Europe and said that was the same as the map on the wall. She wanted to zoom in more, and we ended up on Germany.

Mapquest had little picture links to find stores, pharmacies, motels and other places on the map. One of them was to find 4th of July celebrations. She clicked on it, and it said that nothing was available in that area. When she asked why, I said that 4th of July is an American holiday, so people in Germany don't celebrate it.

So, here we have budgeting, math, decision making skills, history, geography, culture, computer skills. I guess the playing in the sprinklers is PE, and the chalk is art. Or maybe writing, since she's writing some letters. Not bad for a day in the life of a neglectful, lazy unschooler with a 3 year old.

Oh, and she could have chosen to watch tv that whole time.

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