Explorer’s Log – Day 2
December 11th, 2012,
Sometimes, when you start a new journey, you have to trek for quite a distance before you are out of familiar territory.
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That is what happened to us yesterday, our first day unschooling. Zephyr had grand plans to begin a project of her own design, something to do with her SAS Survival Handbook. She just needed to finish her homework for some classes. It is the end of the semester and many of her activities are having their big event or big project due. She spend the morning finishing up a writing project for her homeschool-school Writing Workshop, working on her biology project on HIV, and attending her online Current Events class about the North American Drought.
Then we headed out to the city together to take part in a study for daughters of women who have had breast cancer. We answer surveys, give saliva or blood samples, and have her weight and height recorded twice a year for the next five years. We are happy to be part of something that might help girls and their families and excited to be part of a big scientific study. This excursion is a good application of our philosophy that learning happens everywhere. Zephyr learned about surveys, what makes a good one and what makes a frustrating one.
There was more homework to finish in the afternoon and then another performance with her Girl Choir at a local retirement community. By the time she got home it was past her bedtime.
So, despite our best intentions, no real unschooling action happened yesterday.
Today Zephyr spend the day at her homeschooling-school. It is their child-led philosophy that inspired me to start unschooling. I love what they are doing there, with Zephyr’s age group and the younger kids. I visited this morning to hear a reading from the Writing Workshop group and I saw the Young Ones all busy, in various groups, painting, drawing, building, and listening to stories. They all seemed so genuinely engaged.
The older kids all shared poetry and stories they had been writing. I think that is pretty amazing on its own. No one was forced to write anything, much less read it aloud in front of a group, but they all chose to. And they seemed to have a really good time doing it. This is one Zephyr shared:
The whispered echoes of peaceful yodeling on a serene winter day
Double rainbows stretching across the future
Brilliant Baboons trying to feed random pizza to a bothered group of usually amiable lunatics
Purple Juxtapositions hidden in the folds of my sushi, resting on a turquoise melancholy doily
Outlandish echoes travesing my imagination
My heart stretching out to all the furry Thestrals, helpless and alone, forced to eat angry noodles, abandoned in February
Helpful Xylophones on Tuesday
It is kind of crazy and funny, a lot like her I think.