Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Teacher

I've mentioned before that Lu has grown up in an art school 
that I started when he was just months old. 

He danced in his first community performance at the age of two. 
And now, at ten, he is teaching his first workshops!

It all started a couple months ago when tendonitis stopped him from participating in dance class with his group. So, instead of dancing, Lu decided to help out as an assistant with our youngest group.

Shortly after, he came up with an idea for a workshop and asked to lead it. His idea was this folded "Surprise Drawing", which he presented for approval at the coordinators' planning meeting:

After approval, Lu got all his materials ready 
and was very excited to teach his first class.

It was a hit, and the kiddies were more than cooperative
with the young teacher only a few years older than them.

Since that day, he's led several other workshops, like this one -
a board game with lots of math, science and geography questions.

I'm especially proud of the workshop he prepared this week -
an activity around a story. 

He practiced reading it out loud several times with pauses,
different voices, and questions for the kids. 

Most of our students are not read to at home, 
and it was very touching to see how generous they were 
with their attention and participation.

After reading to them, Lu handed out paper and crayons, 
and asked each child to draw a specific scene from the story.

In the end, the drawings were put all together in a little booklet :)

I've been teaching these kinds of workshops since I was fifteen, 
and I had maybe half the confidence that Lu has.

It is wonderful to see my child doing something 
that I never taught him - 

something that he just learned naturally by watching me.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

 Lu has also been researching dog-training 
and teaching his puppy, Achik, to walk with a leash,

to come when called and "heel" when walking,

to sit and to stay.

And he's been very disciplined about doing it every day
right after breakfast.

I think dog-training for kids is a fantastic way to practice patience, gain leadership, and become more sensitive to the subtleties of communication and relationships. And, the bond between Lu and Achik is noticeably stronger through their working together this way.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Taking Breaks and an Addition to the Pack

Ah! How nice indeed it is to take a homeschool vacation!

We took a whole wonderful two weeks off.

 And we were visited by an awesome homeschool family from Iowa.
We met through SHS - a great place to meet secular homeschoolers.

 It was really neat to hang out with other homeschooled kids,
especially since there are none in our community.

They collaborated on a new habitat for the tadpoles.

we added a new puppy to our pack.

Sadly, he has distemper,
a virus that kills 50% of infected dogs.

Lu has been nursing the puppy with great tenderness
and dedication. It has been beautiful to watch.

On Monday we got back to work.

But Chewbacca (as he has been named)
wants to be held by one of us ALL the time.

 You may recall our other pup, Achik, from a recent post.
She came to us from the street, severely malnourished.
Just a couple months ago she was Chewbacca's size,
and look at her now!

about taking vacations...

It was very refreshing. 

This is our third year homeschooling, and I'm just starting to understand the importance of taking breaks. Learning doesn't stop during breaks. After two weeks of watching Lu build an ecosystem, bake new desserts, and learn about pet care - among many other things, all of his own accord - I am more and more interested in changing up the way we do things and looking more towards unschooling.