Art and Unschool Conversations
There are moments when learning happens and I am stunned, truly and thoroughly boondoggled stunned at how much learning we have accomplished, just in the midst of a simple discussion. This happened today at breakfast time.
Emily woke up at around 9:30 and dressed and we headed downstairs to begin our day. Before we did, she spied some black paper on my desk and asked who it belonged to. “You, I think,” I replied, “It is made to use the gel pens on.”
Immediately she was intrigued and announced she wanted to draw with it right away. I reached over to our art shelf and retrieved the gel pens and placed them on the paper to wait until she returned from getting dressed. As we walked downstairs she talked excitedly about the picture she wanted to draw. This was such a sharp departure from my normally art-avoiding child that I didn’t know what to think. I got her breakfast ready while she began to sketch (quite well, I might add) her pet plant, a morning glory that she raised from seed and that has recently started blooming. Its name is (quite appropriately) Glory.
As I poured my kefir, our conversation went something like this…
Me: I’ve already had breakfast, but I’m going to have a small glass of kefir. It is so good and good for me!
Em: How is it good for you Mama?
Me: It has probiotics in it that help my guts run smoother. See we have tiny bacteria that live throughout our body.
Em: Even on our skin and eyeballs!
Me: Yes, there too. Probiotics are good forms of the bacteria. Sometimes we also have bad bacteria, and that causes illness and infection. When we get that, we sometimes take antibiotics, but it is best if we don’t resort to that.
Me: Because antibiotics are broad-spectrum?
Em: What does that mean?
Me; Well, it’s kind of like if a burglar is breaking into your home, do you shoot him or throw a bomb that blows up him and everyone on the street outside who is coming to help you?
Me: Imagine what is left after that bomb. Nothing much, right?
Me: So then you take probiotics and it is like replanting all of the plants in your front yard that you blew up.
Em: Okay, so do probiotics help keep bad bacteria away?
Me: They help balance your system, so that antibiotics are less of a necessity.
Em: Okay, that makes sense!
Me: So…what do you think ‘pro’ means?
Me: Or simply that you are ‘for’ something and what about ‘anti’?
Me: Yes, antibiotics are against all biotics. It’s important for us to keep our bodies balanced. When they are balanced, they are far less likely to get sick or hurt.
I love discussions like the one above. She is just sucking in knowledge like a big sponge, and making connections at lightning speed. And it is absolutely fascinating to watch it happen. Of all the things I love about being a mom, I think this is the top one. Seeing her learn, right before my eyes.
And seeing her working on her art, adding details and proudly signing it, got me in the mood to Zentangle. So while she attended her Daring and Dangerous co-op class, I began to Zentangle on the van. Three hours of work and one small panel done.
The Dot and Unschooling for the Day
We picked up The Dot and Sky Color today from the library and I enjoyed reading The Dot to her this afternoon, along with Story of the World and Life of Fred. We are nearing the end of the first book (Apples) in the Life of Fred series and will then begin on Butterflies. She loves the series and it has really held her interest. Not just that, but she is really getting double digit addition down!
We also read another Hawaiian folk tale, which she enjoyed, along with a funny book Cat Secrets.
After that it was outdoor play time. Her on her scooter and me doing more Zentangle on the van. All in all, a lovely day.