When we started out with our unschooling journey, we felt a little like knights in shining armor freeing ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles. Hence the name of the blog.

Friday, August 20, 2010

About learning

I wrote the following to our local Homeschooling group.  The thread was "lets share about our kids".. their interests, activities etc.  

Like Urmila says the real learning is going on all the time at a deeper level.  (urmila wrote about not-so-obvious, deeper level learning that is on-going even as a child might look like he is doing nothing tangible.)
In the train to Indore (just returned yesterday) Raghu was annoyed that i'd gotten Zoya a whole book of puzzles to do.  So i pointed out to him that normally he detests books like that and hence i got him other stuff to do.  He was sulking... so i immediately pulled out my diary and made up a few pages of sums, mazes and things for him to do.  Z's book was too easy for him.  Then Ravi showed us some sums that all add up to the same number... and then we did a series of 19+9, 29+9, 39+9 etc... which Raghu loved.  In all of this there was a deeper undercurrent of Raghu needing me to acknowledge his hurt.  Then the patience of talking him thru my thought process and how it was not an intentional oversight.  Etc.  So much little conversation that allows kids to process emotions, our big wide world etc. 

 I love this one line in Stuart Little 2... snowbell the cat advises Stuart "If more people gave up we would have fewer wars".  its an interesting bit of advice for me.  Someone who is often aggressive. Raghu and I discussed this line many times over.  Then the conversation switched to how Zoya has been making up imaginary worlds and how it bothers Raghu.  Time to talk... time to listen... what a lovely thing it is that we get to ponder the world with our children.  I love their take on things.  

Raghu caught me being short with Zoya... and he looked at me and said softly "maybe you should give her some time to think over her options".  It was well timed advice as i have been unwell and impatient all day.  

I do record stuff on my blog as often as possible.  Upto even a few months ago it really helped me to see all the activity going on in our lives.. because in a fear-ridden moment i could browse my blog and feel better.  Also it really helps my dh to know more about our lives during the time he is at work.  Its hard to share many things as we did not always get so much time together. 

Raghu loves video games.  For those fearing video games this is a great page to visit: http://sandradodd.com/videogames/  Raghu plays the Wii.  He especially likes Goku, TMNT and has gone way deep into Super Mario Galaxy.  he also has a membership at Club Penguin and cares for his online pets and plays many games and earns money online.  Its a great site.  He wants to experience a real DJ set up. He has been seeing Michael jackson videos and loves the music... even the slow numbers.  He plays word games, connects the dots of the world, engages us all in loads of bed-tumble-play, he creates amazing little appetizers in the kitchen.  He enjoys discussing video games, wants to have a video game club, is very fond of exploring new online games, has recently taken a liking to runescape and Travian. 

Raghu, Ravi and i are determined to learn Italian... we are planning a trip to Italy next year... raghu's wish.  he recently realised that  a lot of the foods he likes are from that country... good olives, mozzarella, pasta, pizza (he knows the taste of an original italian style not the domino variety, grilled veggies with oregano, salami, fresh herbs like basil etc. So its going to be a foodie trip with loads of art for me.  

Raghu has been going to a lab twice week to do experiments.  Its an awesome place for him right now.  he chooses what he wants to do and the lady there helps him.  She is willing to do topics ranging from electricity to bio-sciences.  

Raghu also learnt swimming and got really good at underwater tricks this past summer.  Zoya too.  She is a happy fish. 

Wow i've barely gotten to talking about Zoya.  She is all about flitting about like a butterfly.  She plays all the usual pre-schooly type things... playdough, cutting, pasting, art-craft, pretend play, cooking, etc.  She also loves imitating Raghu and plays all his video games for a few minutes until something else catches her eye.  She plays online games like dress up, coloring, typing, matching and mazes etc.  She loves long baths and enjoys playdates with other kids.  

Both kids have been picking up Hindi, Kannada and Marathi.  We are all cracking multi-language word-jokes.  We travel a lot these days.  

Anyway these days all the not-so-obvious learning is very obvious to me.  I am no longer focused on seeing the interconnected subjects in everything (for e.g. i'd see chemistry, math and reading as the subjects cooking sessions covered... till a few months ago)... i now simply make the connections and love chatting with them about their world view :-)  Everything under the sun is interconnected.  

Last para: We flew back from Indore in a 40 seater plane... raghu saw how small it was and told us that it would fly very high because it was so light.  I then explained how it was not a pressurized cabin and cna't stand high winds etc.  And will fly low.  This connected to boats and ships and why we did not need to pressurize anything if it was at sea level.. then it led to other connections today about how a submersible needs to be pressurized too.  Then we saw titanic on tv today as i rested... and the discussion continued into why the ship took so long to sink... raghu thought big meant it would sink faster.  etc...amazing range of topics and all conversations over a period of many hours... each lasting a few minutes.  the learning is constant.  Its just not designed, clean-cut or boxed.  Its free flowing, spaced out, inspired, etc.  

And these days the biggest learning is between raghu and Zoya.  loads of interpersonal problem solving.... don't read "sibling rivalry".... read... real time problem solving.. and i'm always available to help see a new side.  


Sandra Dodd said...

-=- (for e.g. i'd see chemistry, math and reading as the subjects cooking sessions covered... till a few months ago).-=-

Language, history, geography and culture for you, as it's leading to Italy.

I love that Raghu softly suggested you lighten up on Zoya. Sometimes one of my kids will recommend that I might be overreacting to one of the other kids, and it's sweet that they're looking out for me and the rest of the family. Keeping the peace, in part; counseling someone who needs it, too.

Hema A Bharadwaj said...

Yes... the subjects are diverse and make my head revolve 360 everyday. Also.. wrt to raghu's sweet suggestion... yes... its so sweet, thoughtful, helpful etc. Raghu and Ravi both help me when i'm on edge.