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  • February 2007
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Museum of Nature & Science

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

This weekend, The Naturalist & The Golfer were SO EXCITED to plan our Saturday.  The IMAX theater at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has a movie-thon of top IMAX movies.  Because The Toddler is too little and rambunctious to sit through 5 minutes of anything let alone an hour of a movie, this is something we haven’t been able to do during the week.  But with Todd home for the weekend they were excited to leave her with Dad and run off to the museum.  In the car it was all they could talk about…Shackletons Antarctic Adventure!  Everest!  Cosmic Collisions! (that one was in the Planetarium).   It was like we were going to Disneyland. 

Did you read the post where I talked about my super sweet schedule I had all of us on when we were using a homeschool curriculum?  I forgot to mention that I had things divided up into ‘educational’ and ‘uneducational’.  As in, “Did you finish your educational work?”  or “If you’re finished with your educational stuff, you can do something off the uneducational list”.  Yes, I had a list for that kind of stuff…..worksheets, reading, writing, math, educational videos & computer games were on the green “Educational List”.  TV, other computer games, laying around doing nothing were on the “Uneducational List”.  This idea worked so well that The Golfer started grouping things according to being Educational or Uneducational.  My great idea backfired when I noticed that everything he hated to do was educational and everything fun was uneducational.   To the point that if it even SMACKED of being educational his attitude was…..”Cosmic Collision?  Is that science?  That’s educational, right?  Naw, I just want to sit here, I did my science this week”….I really wondered if that was the message I wanted to send to him….”do this boring thing, get it out of the way as fast as you can, so you can do something fun that you really want to do”.  Isn’t there a happy medium, I wondered, where the fun things that you really want to do are also things that you learn most from? 

I didn’t only notice this division between educational and uneducational at home, but also when my kids were in school.  Their attitude quickly became, “Alright, I put in my 6 hours, now don’t make me think anymore.”  Going to the museum, or zoo, or watching Discovery channel made them think of science, math, and other things that they associated with sitting at a desk, being bored.  So, they didn’t want to do it.  It was as if their brain only had a certain capacity for learning, and they stuffed it full during school but didn’t have room for any curiosity during the time they were out of school.  I wanted more for my kids…for them to find the excitement in Science, and the patterns of Math, and the joy of self-expression in writing. 

Fast forward a few months, and there I found myself sitting for 3 hours in a museum with my kids.  Laughing, wondering, questioning, marveling, and enjoying.  Life doesn’t get much better!

One Response

  1. Okay, I stumbled upon your blog from another of the many that I read and I had to comment. This post is EXACTLY representative of what I feel and where I am right now and have been struggling with since pulled my 2 kids out of school last September. All last year, we unschooled/deschooled and when I was relaxed, it was great! My kids loved reading, dreaming, & even the dreaded educational tv shows that you mentioned that I could not bribe them to watch when they were in school. However, it is now the beginning of another school year, and as I struggle not to compare my kids and what they know or don’t know with others their ages, as well as, what I hear so many other people teaching… I keep trying to bind us into a curriculum and a routine to try and make myself feel that they are learning something and more than that, I have taught them something. However, NON of these curriculums feel right to me. My dh on the other hand, thinks I need to teach them how to work in a systematic form so they may feel successful.I don’t agree with that either.:( Yet in the last year, I have not noticed alot of interests or self direction from my kids other than playing! I find that alittle scary with a son going into what should be the 5th grade. If you have a post or get the chance… maybe you can share how you got yourself to trust the process??? That they will learn EVERYTHING that they need to know? I will definitely be following your blog. Loved all that I have read so far.

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

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