Thursday, February 14, 2008

Following Their Lead

So, there are lots of new projects going on around here. And they were begun mostly as a result of the kids' own initiative. This unschooling thing makes for self-driven people, at least this month. ;) (Though, I have learned, of late, that the fallow periods are just as important.)

After doing his own research, Gillen has added a new species into his breeding business at the farm. He called around and found someone nearby who was selling the Muscovy Ducks that he was seeking. If all goes according to plan he should have lots of ducks in a few years.

Jesse is about to begin a Living History Class about the Renaissance, taught by an amazing teacher at a homeschool class coop an hour away from us. Both boys took a few classes there last year and the commute, every week, kind of discouraged me from reminding them about the possibilities this year. Thank goodness I have a mindful, strewing fairy in me who bypasses my selfish needs. Jesse read about the living history class. They get to become a Renaissance character, put on a play, cook food of the period, and Jesse knows a boy who took it last year and loved it. He was sold. I was excited for him.

And then, two days ago, it was 8:30am and it was time to get my sorry self out of bed and into the car with him to sign up for classes, an hour away. I hadn't slept the night before (insomnia) and I called him into the bed for a meeting.

"Jesse, you know, if we do these classes, I am going to be less excited about going into Atlanta on other days for field trips or to see your friends. It is a long way."

He groaned and threw his body off the bed in response.

And still, the good unschooling mama part of me lay dormant, overtaken by selfish, sleep-deprived me-witch.

"What if I taught a Renaissance living history class here? I love the Renaissance. I was a theater director. We could invite all of your local friends? No driving?..."

The face was back next to mine, his big brown eyes filled with tears. The better part of me woke up with a start. I hugged him, drank a lot of coffee and drove him to sign up for the class. We are also taking needlework, together, with the same woman who taught Gillen to crochet last year. I'm looking for a fun knitting or crochet project to bring to the class.

And the list goes on - Jesse is working on learning all of Hannah Montana's lyrics; Gillen is creating a bird drawing for a local contest (to be printed on the t-shirt that is given to all participants in the youth birding competition that he does every year); Jesse read one sentence about war in the fantasy series that he is reading - "Keys to the Kingdom", and has decided to write a letter to the president (well, now he has decided to write to the next president, when we get one) to encourage him to stop war; their lego kingdom is growing every day...

I am more deeply following my own interests, next to them, inspired by their initiative.


Danielle said...

You know what a lovely family you have and how lucky you are, don't you? ;)

Jules has been making a "Little House on the Prairie" here with cardboard boxes, sculpey and some some extra fabric. I need to post about soon.

Long story short, she wants some oxen, but isn't sure how to make them. So she's asked me to make them. My friend's going to give me a pattern for highland cattle from a book she has, which looks adorable.

Here's a link.

Madeline said...

That book looks so cool. It makes me so happy that Julia is playing "Little House". I love that girl! AND your other two.

I DO know how lucky I am. I hope it never isn't hugely clear how much I know this. Today, I killed Santa. : ( I am not feeling at all worthy of them right now. I'll post about it soon.