Saturday, January 24, 2015

What Happens When the Boxes Don't All Get Checked

We didn't check off all the boxes on our school list last week.  
Now, there's a fairly good reason for that – we've all been fighting a pretty nasty sinus bug.  No one's really been 'lay in bed all day' sick, but no one's felt in top form either.  My love-to-check-the-boxes-self tried to push through anyhow - tried being the operative word.  It was a fail.  Those boxes still didn't get checked.  And there was stress and yelling and tension in our home.  Double fail.
That said, I can tell you a couple of things we did do.
We sat outside in the backyard on a blanket as still and quiet as we could to see if we might see any birds.  After a few minutes, we saw three crows (at least we think they were crows, it was too far away to know for sure) flying in the sky overhead, soaring and swooping gracefully.  Later we saw a sunbird gathering nectar from the flowers in the rose-apple tree.  Sunbirds are magnificent.  So are the flowers on the rose-apple tree.
We talked a little about what  it is exactly that makes a bird a bird anyhow.  It was the children who posed the question.  They haven't yet come up with any definitive answers.  They have wings – yes, but so do bats.  They fly – yes, but what about flamingos? Ostriches? Penguins?  The discussion is underway. 
Michelle read a section in a book about Leonardo da Vinci.  At the end of her narration she asked: "Did Leonardo da Vinci live before or after Christopher Columbus?"   "Why do you want to know?"  "Oh, I'm just curious about whether or not people knew the world was round or not yet when Leonardo was alive."   We looked it up after lunch: they were born only a year apart from each other.  Who knows if they ever met or not, but they were certainly men of the same age.  We added them both to the same century page in her timeline book.
Charlotte Mason tells us that education is the 'science of relations'….that learning takes place when connections are made….that it's not so much about how much we know, but how much we care.
We didn't check off all our boxes last week.   But we stopped and looked and wondered.  We related this week's reading to previous reading.  Connections were made.
Perhaps last week wasn't so much of a fail after all.

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