“What School Things Did You Do Today?”

Hubby came back from a business trip and settled in on the couch, looking to catch up to speed with what’s been going on here.

“So…what school things did you do today?” he casually asked.

I searched my brain. “Crap”, I thought. I’d forgotten to ‘categorize’ our experiences into school type subjects. I was caught off guard.

“Uhh…school things?! It’s like you don’t know me at all!” I stammered.

“You said they learn things by passionate exploration. So what things have they been passionately exploring this week?”

I racked my brain. Would beating ‘Heatseaker’ on Wii be an acceptable answer? Planting our garden? Finishing as many Warrior books in one week as humanly possible? Spending hours outside trying to make a sweet hook shot with the basketball?

Hubby, who is totally on board the unschooling train, hasn’t yet experienced it full monty style. Usually I translate what they do into ‘school speak’…cooking is doing fractions, going to the store is using money, playing video games is reading, etc. He has yet to appreciate the ebb and flow of passionate learning–the total focus in a particular area for a length of time, followed by complete unfocus for a length of time while their little minds veg out until the next wave of hyperfocus comes along. It’s in these moments of unfocus that Hubby starts wondering if unschooling is such a good idea.

Tonight was no exception, and I offered up some doozies on what’s been going on.

“Well, Golfer is focused on dribbling the ball continuously for as long as he can. I think he’s trying for a world record or something. When not doing that, he’s going for the record on ‘Heatseaker’. Naturalist is training lots of new dogs on her DS game, and reading Warriors books nonstop. I also think she’s going for a world record. She’s been developing some really amazing fruit smoothy recipes for me, so I don’t have to pay anymore money in Jamba Juice.”

Hubby waited for a moment and said, “So, one out of three R’s. Reading without ‘riting or ‘rithmetic.”

“Ummm…yes, that would be correct. But who needs ‘riting when you have such a sweet outside shot on the basketball court!” I joked.

I could tell Hubby was not finding my humor funny.

The kids went up to bed while hubby and I cleaned up, and then we went up to our room. When hubby came in he said in hushed tones, “They’re doing math in there together. Playing some sort of math game?”

I had to see this. Naturalist is a vowed math hater. Naturalist would not be doing math, no matter how much she hated going to bed. I stopped outside their bedroom and listened in.

“OK, Golfer” Naturalist announced. “Our sections are division, multiplication, double digit addition and double digit subtraction.”

Sure enough, they made up their own nerdy math game which of course superseded bedtime. They played for an hour and even asked me to join them. By the end of the night, they had decided to set up a math club. MATH CLUB?! The only involvement I thought Naturalist would have with a math club would be when the straw broke the camels back and she’d egg and toilet paper anyone having to do with math.

So, hey…two out of the three R’s aint bad, considering what full days we have had lately!

And, I’ve been holding my tongue about this new vedic math stuff we’ve been doing, just to see if it will work or if we all hate it. I’d say, after hearing Naturalist tonight exclaim “Math is SO FUN!” that I must blog about it sometime soon. It’s been a complete success and I’m even loving it as much as the kids are. Coming from a mathphobe, that’s really saying something!

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5 Responses

  1. What a wonderful post! šŸ™‚

  2. Some of our best “schooly” stuff happens at bedtime. It is so neat to find them doing stuff like that on their own TOGETHER! Yay.

  3. Bahahaha, going for the world record! I love it.

    Hubby gets “questioning” like that too – though he’s on board with the unschooling, I think part of him is just jealous cause Daughter’s Hunter (World of Warcraft) is a higher level than his…hehe.

  4. I’d love to hear sometime about the ebb and flow of your focused vs unfocused times. I think it is these unfocused times that scared me off unschooling the first time I tried it. I don’t want that to happen again.

  5. Oh, and the vedic math…do tell!

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