Friday, February 27, 2015

Building an Electric Generator

Last week, Lu got to participate in a 5-day workshop with ATC (Appropriate Technology Collaborative). They were building an electric generator using old microwave parts. He learned all about magnetism and electricity, and a bunch of other cool stuff. He's been very lucky to be able to participate in workshops like this with ATC, when they used our workshop space in the past.

At noon, he'd run up to the kitchen for lunch and show me all kinds of neat thingy'ma'jiggies and make them move with batteries and magnets, and - at about a gazillion words per minute - excitedly try to explain everything he was learning to his non-science-minded mother.

It's really cool to see my kid understand stuff I know nothing about. 
I love it when *he* can teach *me* something,
which he does. Often.

I can teach him what I know.
We can look stuff up together.

But it's SOOOO important to find opportunities to learn with other people, experts when possible. Like when he made sushi with a real sushi chef. Or took a plastering workshop with an expert in a specific technique. Last week he took a soap-making workshop. This week he started swimming lessons, to work on his form, with a certified lifeguard. Next week he'll be taking a 3-hour workshop on vegan and raw desserts. And of course his weekly guitar lessons, which are well worth the investment because he is really rockin'!

Some of these learning experiences are expensive, and  we can only afford a few classes. Others are free and just happen naturally with friends, or nice people we meet (like the sushi chef). Either way, the opportunity for Lu to learn with other people is always something we jump at whenever we can.

I, personally, prefer to spend 
whatever money we have for homeschool 
on experiences, rather than on packaged curriculum. 
Any day.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lake Day

All these big, thick books! It feels so... scholarly!

I was intimidated by our million-page algebra book in the beginning,
but we're managing just fine.

We've been learning about stuff like
(read with loud, thundery voice)
The Transitive Property of Equality
(say whaaa?)

Oh yeah.
If a=b and b=c, then a=c.

And we've been learning about stargazing and
the ideas of Copernicus and Kepler and Galileo...

In history we've been reading and watching documentaries
about the Ottoman Empire.

Oh so much sophisticated learning!


But in the middle of the week, on Wednesdays,
we leave the books on the kitchen table,
and we take a Lake Day.

It's a 7-minute walk from our house.

  On the weekends we go swimming too,
and sometimes run into friends
(ya know, 'cause they go to school and can only go to the lake on weekends ;)

We moved here when Lu was one month old. I was a young, single mother. Everyone thought I was crazy. What would I do for money? Where would Lu go to school? There are no hospitals nearby! Were we safe, alone on the mountain? We didn't even have electricity in the tiny house I'd built for us!

But it was my dream,
and it all worked itself out,
and it was the best decision I've ever made.

Lu agrees :)