Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lifestyle of Learning: Volume 5

Being engaged in our community and the activities it has to offer has always been an essential part of our lifestyle of learning.  Until recently, we have gone to the library at least weekly where we have participated in everything from preschool programs to those intended for adults, we have accessed books, movies and computer games and have forged relationships with librarians who have shared their own interests and knowledge with us.  We have visited local, state and national parks sometimes just to play or move our bodies and sometimes to take advantage of a historically-related opportunity.  We have had memberships to and frequently visited zoos and museums.  We have enjoyed, either as a performer or a spectator, our community theatre.  We have created art with our local arts council and learned tae kwon do with our park board.  We have plugged in to our homeschool community by participating in a homeschool boy scout troop, participating in a homeschool physical education group, singing in a homeschool choir and going on field trips together.  We have taken advantage of the expertise of private shop owners learning, among other things, to ride horses, do ceramics, and fuse glass.   Also, I have included the boys, from a very young age, in doing my familial shopping and errands where they have learned what it takes to provide for the needs of a family and have learned many practical skills (i.e. comparison shopping).  I also never hesitated to take them in to art galleries and antique stores where they learned proper etiquette for such places and self-control, where they were exposed to historical artifacts that accessible and relatable, and where they were able to talk to small business owners about their entrepreneurial efforts.  Sometimes 'community as classroom' takes on a more literal interpretation and we find ourselves taking our more conventional learning resources (i.e. books) in to the community for a change of scenery.  All of these have given us the opportunity to learn new things and meet new people.  
Desiring to be introduced to new people and ideas and seeking to expand the borders of our comfort zones, I am always looking for new ways to be engaged in our community.  This week we had the opportunity to do just that.
Here is a glimpse of our lifestyle of learning for the week of February 27-March 2.
 Maceo and I went to a small movie theater that offers independent, foreign and local films.  We viewed "Amour" the Austrian movie performed in French that was nominated for an Academy Award for best film.  Maceo worked to analyze it from a cinematographical  perspective and was exposed to conversational French.  And we learned that we need to take advantage of this theater and its offerings more frequently.

Although we live within walking distance of a university and have at least three other colleges in our little city we have never taken advantage of the opportunities they offer...until this week.  Bishop and I went to our neighboring university to hear a holocaust survivor speak.  Eva Kor, who was forced to be a part of Mengele's twin studies at Auschwitz, spoke of her experiences and her road to forgiveness.  It was a cool experience and we most definitely need to be routinely checking the schedules of these colleges and universities.
And, of course, our adventures in learning continued at home.
Maceo's reading.
Lenten scripture readings and our Jesus tree.
Bishop is still studying the CNS.

Bishop making an edible spine.

Our life-size anatomy poster has found a home on our dining room door.
In true 'lifestyle of learning' form we had a little serendipitous learning this week in the form of natural observation.  First I have a confession to make: the pumpkins that decorated my porch for Halloween and Thanksgiving were never properly disposed of, they were moved to a discreet corner of the porch where they have remained throughout the winter, decaying slowly.  As winter stretches on the squirrels have turned to the pumpkins for their meals.  Although we have not caught them in the act of munching on the pumpkins we have enjoyed looking for evidence that they have indeed been feasting.  We have seen teeth marks on the skin of the pumpkins as they attempt to get to the interior of the pumpkin.  We have seen the shells of the pumpkin seeds after they have cracked them open and eaten the meat of the seed.  We have seen squirrel scat and many a footprint left by our furry neighbors.

It has been a delightful week of learning!

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