Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lifestyle of Learning: Volume 12 aka Learning Wherever Life Takes Us

The first part of the week of April 14-April 20 looked much like the week before.  The boys continued their personal reading.  Maceo finished V for Vendetta and began reading The Watchmen and The Great Gatsby.  Bishop finished The Rangers Apprentice: Halt's Peril and began the next book in the series, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja.  Maceo continued pursuing his personal interest in films and cinematography.  He viewed more films on his personal watch list, listened to a plethora of related podcasts, and wrote reviews.  Bishop continued pursuing his interest in steampunk and diesel punk.  He has been seeking out inspiration on the internet and has begun to design his own weapons and outfit.  He viewed many videos regarding fabrication and had some field trips to flea markets and antique stores to find Victorian and industrial items that can be altered for his purposes.  Maceo played miniature golf with his youth group and both of the boys went on routine walks.  Bishop and I took our first walk of the season at the Nature Center.
The wildlife looked sparse at first glance but upon further investigation we, of course, found it in abundance.
There were no turtles sunning themselves and no fish were readily apparent but we did see very small aquatic creatures and insects.
Bishop also very much enjoyed examining the algae.
He fished some out of the lake so that he could feel it (it feels just as one would imagine given the way that it looks).
We found the algae to be particularly interesting because it was at different stages of growth and blooming.  Some algae was the bright green of new growth and blooming, some was the deep green of older growth and some were black, presumably at the end of its life cycle.
At first we saw no mammals and very little in the way of bird life, the forest was so quiet, but, again, once we got still and quiet we were began to hear bird songs, circling vultures made their way directly overhead and a turkey came out of hiding.
When we went to the center's bird feeding station we saw cardinals, gold finches, sparrows, chickadees, a turkey, and an acrobatic squirrel who managed to steal food from the bird feeders despite the centers attempts to thwart such squirrel efforts.
It was a beautiful day.
One that affirmed for both Bishop and I that this is a wonderful and effective way to learn.

The latter part of our week found us many miles from home.
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is its flexibility, including, flexibility of schedule.
We are not bound by a school's calendar.  We can take a vacation in the middle of the school year with little to no worries regarding what will be missed and what needs to be made up.  Our educational philosophy and our lifestyle of learning brings us peace of mind as we recognize that we will acquire knowledge and make connections in all settings and that this learning is significant and sufficient.  Life is not an addendum to education it is essential to education, it IS education.
So, we found ourselves traveling to New Mexico to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday.
We found ourselves exploring other cultures...

...and American history...
(In the 1600's, as European settlements were beginning to develop on the eastern coastline Native Americans in the southwest were being introduced to Franciscan monks.  These are remains of a mission in Abo, New Mexico.  I look forward to printing out some of these photos and including them in our timelines.)
...and family history and connections.
Of course, we also managed to get in some game playing, an essential part of our 'curriculum.'
We played 'Would You Rather' in the airport, Pentago in the hotel room and Bishop even managed to find an opponent at the birthday party and marbles and cards. Such a fun way to exercise the brain and foster memories that can help bind a family together.
What a great week of learning wherever life takes us!

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