Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Sometimes the learning just seems to script itself. It's funny how that works : we're conditioned to believe that "school" is a place and a time, a set of books and a lesson plan. But learning is taking place ALL the time. Kids are absorbing ideas and values from everything they're seeing and hearing. How we as parents choose to use this truth determines what our children ultimately get out of their education.

Take, for example, our morning trip to the grocery store. Wednesday is our night to plan and cook dinner (Yes, I have a husband who cooks very well. Better than me. And he likes to cook. Be jealous.) So the kids and I had to reach an agreement on what to make. We all voted for homemade pizza, salad, and cinnamon rolls. Staple ingredients were checked, a list was created, our coupons were sifted through, and we perused the 2 local grocery sale ads online to see who had the better deal on bagged lettuce and mozzarella.

At the store, Coral and Hobie rode in one of those ridiculous, impossible-to-steer shopping carts where the front half is a big plastic race car. Lesson in physics right there! As we gathered our purchases, the kids spotted the signs over the aisles and could pick out where our groceries would be. We compared prices per ounce and decided what was the better deal. In line, Alexei estimated our total cost and Ibis was in charge of handing the coupons to the cashier and getting the change. Then we practiced bargaining skills deciding to whom the change belonged.

Once home, Alexei did the bulk of the work starting the dough for the cinnamon rolls - nothing gets a boy motivated like the promise of sweets, and the thought that yeast makes dough rise because of gas. I swear the mere mention of a possible potty joke is enough to keep an almost-ten-year-old boy going for days. No pun intended. Who says a boy's place isn't in the kitchen?

Better make that a boys' place.

While the dough was rising, we plowed through math lessons and had lunch. Then the kids moved on to their big map project and learned all about Connecticut - but that's another post. Mostly because I forgot to take pictures. They also began their postcard project and penned several cards to other homeschool families willing to trade cards from Maryland and Arizona.

I think both kids will understand postcards a little more when they start rolling in. Right now it's this pleasant-sounding, rather foreign concept, where we actually get mail in the mailbox that we want, which isn't a bill or advertisement. Actually this is a pleasant-sounding, rather foreign concept to me, too.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent rolling dough, baking cinnamon rolls, proofing pizza dough, and a flurry of pushing kids on swings, entertaining neighborhood kids, and finishing up dinner. Coral sneaked in under the radar of the big kids and got some cooking time in, too. Give the child a rolling pin and she could be happy for hours.

The kids lost interest in what I was doing when their public-schooled comrades came home, but that's okay. Being a kid is about far more than sitting at a desk with a worksheet; play and friendship are the real teachers.

No comments: