Entry: unschooling moments Friday, September 21, 2007

today we (samuel, silas, and i) have been learning about how to make our profiles cooler on gaiaonline.com.  we've all figured out different little things to do to make them better.  html codes, links, pictures, music, videos...all that neat stuff.  it's been fun.  it's been frustrating.  but lots of learning happening.  it makes me think of how our kids, this internet generation, thinks, creates, and interracts differently than we did.  to watch the speed clicking and editing and multi-tab activity is fascinating. 

while we were all taking turns on the computer, tweaking our various profiles and blogs, sadie was in her room writing and performing songs.  she has a composition notebook designated just for song writing now.  about ever 15-20 minutes she would come out to ask me how to spell a word.  it's interesting that she didn't ask me how to spell ALL the words, just some.  there were lots of words that she just chose to try to spell on her own, but for some reason there were words that she wanted me to spell out for her.  i thought that was kind of interesting.  like the word "be" or "friends"...but not words like "when" which she spelled "wine" or "always" which she spelled "olways."  i love that she is working on these songs, that she is exploring this concept of song writing and the subjects she chooses for the songs.  i've also been watching her play "animal crossing" on the gamecube and i am amazed at how she has gone so quickly from needing me in the room the whole time to read the dialogue for her to reading it all on her own.  she was never taught to read.  neither was silas.  samuel, only halfway.  because halfway through was when he realized he did not like it (but he had requested to learn it, so i did try to).  i am always amused by people's reactions to the fact that i don't "teach" my kids school subjects.  it is inconceivable to them that children can actual learn things on their own.

another case in point.  when we went to blackbeard's cove the other day, silas had gone to the ticket counting machine twice and so had two slips with his ticket amounts.  one had 57, the other 67.  he asked me, "mommy, what is 7 plus 17?"  and i said, "but you have 57 and 67."  he says, "i know, what's 7 plus 17?'  to which i answered 24.  and without skipping a beat he said, "YES!!  i've got 124 tickets!!"  it took me a second to go where his mind had gone and i realized he had done creative math.  he knew 50 and 50 made 100, he just needed to know the rest.  i'm not sure where he learned to do that little trick, but he learned it...somehow.  and as far as the "not knowing" 7 plus 17...all in good time, all in good time.  and if he never learns (read memorizes) simple addition, i know he has the ABILITY to figure it out on his own when the time comes for him to need it.

after all, isn't that the most important skill we can ever aquire.  the ability and the confidence to find the answers we need.  so if anyone wants to know what my kids learn/do all day long, i will tell them:  "they are learning how to think for themselves and figure things out on their own."  i can't think of anything more valuable to learn.


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