I felt like sharing a pretty indicative homeschool experience. When people ask what we do all day it’s hard to quantify it. The school day is not 9-3, and there are no weekends or vacation days. Usually it’s about 10:30pm when Fern says something like, “Mom, can we learn about The Oregon Trail? Like, right now?” It could be anything — creatures of the ocean, bridge building, playing piano — at any time. This is what I love about home learning and what I think she’ll ultimately gain from it. But, 10:30 is late. It could be too late or we’re in the car or I’m in the middle of making coffee. Do I put her off and revisit it later, hoping she’ll still be into it? Or do I do what I can because it’s the moment, now, when inspirado strikes her.
So that’s what happened this morning. I was eating my breakfast, in the process of doing dishes, making plans, reading news. I heard, “Mom, can we learn all about flowers and what their parts are?” In my former life I did many flower studies with lots of kids. I know what to say and how to prompt; I know the tools and the dissections and the hands-on potential. But I was in the middle of something. Plus, I only have a couple of flower books and nothing was really what I was looking for (a good diagram of flower parts and what they do). But I went with it.
We tore apart flowers and talked about pollen and seed dispersal, why flowers are colorful or smell good or bad. At one point I asked her a leading question about pollination.
“If a plant is stuck in the ground, how does its pollen get to another flower?”
Her answer: “Maybe a gorilla could pull up the flowers and ride a tiger over to the other plants.”