Splatter Painting

One of the resources available to us in our city is a once a week enrichment program for homeschoolers, we’ve decided to try it this year. Today was the beginning of school picnic where we got to meet the teachers and the kids got to run around. I am glad Alder will have this opportunity to spend some time away from me, to have a little time to negotiate friendships without me near by. But honestly the primary reason I am happy to have the program is to give me some one day a week when I can really work on project uninterrupted. The past four months have been a little low on the Mama alone time and I need to rejuvenate my soul a little more often.  Take a little time so that I can focus on the beauty of our days a little better knowing that I’m taking care of myself too.

But this enrichment program is really the only place I see Alder’s learning being fixed. The rest of it all happens naturally, it really does.  Maybe it’s the time of year or maybe it’s his turning five but I am aware of all the articles, news stories and general discussion of how schools can do a better job stuffing learning into children who have no natural interest in learning and who should all be reaching certain goals at the same time all depending on age. These policy makers have obviously never watched a child learning in freedom.

Just in the past two days Alder has:

Taught himself to write his name and tried writing his friends names (though the five he was interested in writing were all variations on Sophia and Alex).

Explained to me all the different numbers could fit into ten, all part of an involved game he made with cuisenard rods.

Taught his bath toys about displacement and how water wheels worked.

Watched documentaries on Domes, Dams, Tunnels and Skyscrapers.

Recreated a dam experiment at the river.

Added random numbers while walking.

Had many conversations with adult friends without me there to “remind” him what else he could tell them.

Baked blondies.

Painted, drew with pastels, made collages.

Played games, Blokus, Candyland, The Number Game, The Letter Game.

Built a bus out of lego.

Explained to me about the water cycle.

Spent four hours with his Papa learning about lead climbing, making a zip line and climbing a very tall tree (in a harness).

And that’s just the stuff I can remember off the top of my head. When ever I hear someone wondering about how their kids are doing in school or if they are keeping up I wonder “how could they not?”  This world is so rich with mystery and beauty that it would be hard not to want to figure out was to understand it and express what you feel and love and know. It seems so sad to me that second graders are already burnt out on school or that ten year olds have three hours of homework, when the world is so full.

The best motivation