|Posted on May 15, 2011 at 2:00 PM|
Living an Educational Life, as opposed to schooling or unschooling, has been at the forethought of my thoughts lately. I've come to realize *this* is really how my kids learn so much. Even when we aren't "schooling" we are doing things that enrich our lives and therefore teach us things. This weekend was a prime example.
We had the opportunity to spend four days at the coast in our friend's beach house. As a family we all agreed that, for once, this would be a nonworking, noneducational, do only what we feel like, stricktly relaxing trip. Something we rarely do. Most of our trips are planned around activities. We had a fabulous time and all of us can't wait to do it again. We feel so recharged and that feeling is what most of us focused on. Funny thing is, now that I have high schoolers I have to do a lot more documenting so as we do things I tend to catalog them in my head for later retrival. I have to say as I look back on this weekend, without even trying, we added hours of several transcriptable subjects. The ability to do this is because of our living an educational life. Our kids are able to transfer what they learn in our relaxed CM schooling to all their avtivities without even trying. They automatically see the relationships and act upon them.
This weekend we truly were focused on just having an enjoyable time as a family. Yet, here is what we can document from the weekend. (This is great for those who do live in states requiring documentation.)
PE: We walked miles and miles and miles. Much of it along beaches. The rest uphill, or so it seemed. Probably totalled 3 hrs. of really working out.
Astronomy: Since there was no broadcast tv we watched 2 Nova videos on space. The kids asked a lot of really good questions and there were some lively debates. Definitely at the same level as my high school astronomy class discussions. Tide is studying astronomy right now so this was actually her request.
Nature Studies: We seemed most drawn to watching the birds this trip. They were everywhere! All kinds. We spent hours watching them and commenting on their behaviors. We have a few things to look up now that we are home since some of the brids acted differently than we expected. I never realized birds play so much! I was also impressed with how many plants the kids could identify from our previous trips and research. Drakon noticed a field that nearly everything in it could be used to make a soup. Too bad we did miss out on the Wild Gourmet's workshop Saturday. That would have been interesting and counted toward a health credit.
Chemistry: We watched a glass blowing session that included a full description of everything they were doing and how the glass was changing throughout the process and why. We've seen these demos before but this one was superior in the detail of explanation. We learned so much and some of us now want to try it ourselves. It's nice that this happened the year the girls are studying chemistry. We also have more research to do since some of the explanations went over our heads it was so indepth.
All without trying! We just did what we felt at the moment while living the educational life.
You may be wondering, how is this different from unschooling. It is quite different really. Living the educational life marries the idea of schoolwork (to lay down a foundation of knowledge that the kids can later act upon) and enriching our lives in multiple ways. It's a lovely cycle that feeds upon itself. Doing nature studies for years has trained my kids to observe the natural world around them and observing the natural world fosters their interest in doing planned nature studies. Seeing the glass blowing demo got everyone thinking about chemistry again and has motivated Tide to, finally, do our basic chemistry course. Just thinking about chemistry has now gotten her thinking about the chemistry of our handicrafts and hairstyling (yes, she's a teen girl so the chemistry of hair dye is of interest) which means she now has to do that chemistry course so that she can understand the chemical formulas in the dyeing books we just ordered. She will then use what she learned about dyes to dye her own fabrics and to host a tie-dye party using indigo and natural dyes in addition to the traditional vat dyes.
Living the educational life....it is a beautiful thing!