Sunday, March 13, 2011

this is when you know

that life learning/ natural learning/ unschooling is working

for you and your kids (and so sweetly!)…

Last night I was cooking dinner and my son was a few feet away, chatting.

He said, "Something something something, Yuri Gagarin, something something something, Mum."

(and I wish I could remember exactly what he said, but we've both wracked our brains and can't remember why Yuri Gagarin's name came up!)

me: "Um, Who is Yuri Gagarin?"

my boy: "Oh, he was the first man up in space. He was a Russian Cosmonaut."

Then my girl, casually turning around from her desk, said, "And he died in a plane crash."

me: "He did, huh? How'd you know that?"

my girl, waving her hand breezily: "Oh, I read it somewhere…"

Of course she did…(!)

(and so did my boy),

read it somewhere, in one of our Space books,
one of dozens we borrowed from the library weeks ago, that have been out and available to read any time and every time…

And the information stuck… of course!

And then, after dinner

and after a game of
Duck Duck Bruce,

my boy started reading my book of Robert Frost poems,

because the other night (while my husband and I were out on our date)
he'd seen it on a shelf and—remembering the poet from something I'd read at Writers Workshop—decided to read some poems and loved them…

So last night we talked about another of my favourite (but sad) Frost poems, about a boy who died 'cos he was cut with a saw, and I said, "The poem's called "Out! Out!"
and my son said, "Oh, maybe it should be called, 'Ouch! Ouch!' "

(yes, he has a very sick sense of humour…! I'm so proud)

So he read that poem too,
and then I leapt up and
found my Norton Anthology of Poetry and we pored over it together,
and then he asked me about a nonsense poem I'd showed him once,
so we looked up Edward Lear and he read Edward Lear into the night.


when we go to the library

we'll be getting Edward Lear's poetry and hopefully books with cats in them and

we will NOT be returning our space books
because we just aren't done with them yet

this is how we roll.

This is how we learn and love to learn.

So random and beautiful…!

Kind of like life, don't you think?



  1. I love love love this. This is the post I want to show my family when they comment that they still don't "get" this choice we made. This is the post that those who are thinking about learning at home should read. This is the post that reaffirms my belief in this lifestyle. I am so glad to walk this journey alongside you!

  2. I love this! Very nice. We aren't quite there yet, but I have faith. :)

  3. Don't you just love it when the kiddies edumucate the mama? We are also off to the library today and I thought we must return our books about the Greek Gods until I was informed that NO we can renew them one more time from home and then if we still need them we can take them in to the library where they will renew them again for us as long as they see them and no-one else wants them because they need to make sure we have not stolen or damaged them MUM! Oh silly me!

    We have had a few conversations much like yours this week and some of them were quite advanced even for me. Must be doing something right? Or at least they are!

    Hugs and smoochies, have a lovely learning week! xoxox

  4. I love it! I relish the moments when each child surprise attacks me with strange knowledge that they have picked up along the way. The best, best, very best part is that they often teach me a new thing or two. Outstanding!

  5. I love your style. It's so open and refreshing and beautiful!! I look forward to reading more of your posts!! So glad to have "met" you :)

  6. First of all, I love how the people who read you, I read. How we are all connected on this earth. Jess, Theresa, just makes me smile.

    About the post..YES YES YES. This is why we do it, this is learning...just like life. ;) I love when Kei says something that we have learned together, but I LOVE LOVE when she says something and I say, "How did you know that?" :)

    I love this post Helena.

  7. THANK YOU, sweet blog friends! Isn't it great to be together, all nodding our heads at each other's words and smiling? It makes me Happy and then some! :)

  8. If I would've known then what I know now about the public education system I would have chosen to home school. I was young and impressionable then, I took other people's advice more than I listened to my own. Thankfully, I have been a "stay at home" mom the entire time so I have also been able to balance out what the public system was missing :) I admire you and what you are doing for your children, it sounds heavenly!


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.