Monday, June 19, 2006

You Learn Something New Everyday

I really would like to share this with you all as I'm pretty excited. Please forgive me for the length, when I get excited I tend to type type type!

My husband was finally able to SEE Unschooling in action today!!! I am so thrilled! This was what our day was like... (keep in mind dd 8 goes to public school and is not homeschooled. Ex husband wants her in school so we agreed to that since we split 50/50 but she spends the week with him. My other 2 children will be unschooled. They are almost 3 and 5 months old right now.)

This morning Sierra was watching a movie, Charlie's Angels. (for some reason she loves it and thinks it hillarious. LOL I find it funny watching both girls do the "Charlies Angel pose" ) She started asking questions about the stunts and how they were possible. So we talked about stunt doubles, and how they use computers to do many of the scenes. We used the computer to look up things I wasn't sure about and she was excited to learn that stunt doubles use gymnastics moves all the time. She is a gymnist and loved learning that there is yet another way she could pursue a career doing what she loves.

We looked up Charlies Angels goofs and went through the movie scene by scene, catching all the mistakes they made while filming. (cables showing, cameras reflected off things, problems with continuity, etc..) We'd watch one, laugh, pause it and read about the next. It was awesome trying to catch all the bloopers together and she learned a lot about behind the scenes film making in the process. Also she is still in that fantasy vs. reality phase where she questions which is which, so it was good to be able to talk about what things in the film were absolutly NOT possible to happen. (for example, in the opening scene one of the girls parachutes and catches a man falling, then she opens her chute up and saves them both. Its physically impossible to open a chute up while holding someone, the force would throw them from you, which is why they use harnessess.)

In once scene there is a scene of the characters filming a movie. (a movie in a movie) She gets shot, they yell "cut!" and the character gets up. Sierra wanted to know how that works so we discussed tricks like how the fake blood gets on shirts. She asked if anyone has ever accidentally gotten shot for real. (the fantasy vs. reality thing again) I said "Actually, they have" and we Googled and looked up all information about Brandon Lee and the filming of The Crow. During that we ALL learned the difference between a "dummy" round, and a blank, and the importance of gun safety and proper maintenence.

Later in the day she commented that the word Mississippi was so long it had to be the longest word ever. We took turns spelling it. I could spell it fast, and she tried to do it as fast as I could, it ended in fits of giggling. I let her know that it was a huge word, but that there was an even bigger word. So then we talked about the word Antidisestablishmentarianism and how it was the largest word in the english dictionary. She wanted to know what it meant so we looked that up too. Supercalifragilisticespialadocious (spelled fantasically wrong I fear) is longer then antidisestablishmentarianism, but its not considered a "real" word because it orgininated in Mary Poppins which is a fictional movie. We counted how many letters were there and she practiced saying it to *wow!* all her friends.

Dh walked in and said "Long??! I know something thats long!! The longest river in the world is the Amazon!!" I decided we'd double check to be sure and lo and behold we learned that the Nile is the longest and the Amazon is the second longest! Dh learned right along with us! We looked up pictures and saw how pretty it was and we all agreed some day we'd love to visit Egypt. We found out that the Nile is 4160 miles long! We talked about what the word "amazon" means. (and she said, "Oh! I know! Its where you buy your books right? )

Shortly afterwards, my husband came up to me and said, "Wow! So thats how it will be huh? Thats unschooling..." I nodded and smiled. He continued, "I really enjoyed today. I learned a lot too and it wasn't a bit schoolish at all. I think raising them this way will be a lot of fun for all of us."

I am totally thrilled with how today went. My daughter brought things up that she was interested in, and we found the answers together. One thing drifted seamlessly into the other, and dh even had his hand in the "strewing" when he introduced the comment about the longest river. We were talking about the LONGest word, and she was talking about the Mississippi river (which IS the longest and largest in North America!) so he found an "in" to introduce some new info. Even though his statement wasn't correct, it was jumping board for more learning! I loved that I was able to see the learning moments in our conversations without forcing it to be learning, and it was wonderful! I know not all days will be like this, but I was in awe at how easily it came and how natural it felt.

I think the difference between today and some other days is.. I was connected. Sometimes I'm not. My brain has trouble shifting between events. If I'm reading, I'm reading! If I'm trying to think about whats for dinner, I'm trying to think! And sometimes I miss opportunities to answer questions or to help with finding answers. I know I won't always have 100% of the time to answer things and BE THERE in the moment, but it really felt good to have a day like this.


  1. What a great post. Isn't it fabulous when someone who hasn't yet seen unschooling in action finally "gets it"?

  2. Wow. That's just such an awesome day. I hope to have a few thousand days like that with my boys. :D