Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unschooling Experiment #2

Here are some highlights of Unschooling Moments since my last post.

~ Padawan was in the pool where he seems to do a lot of his pondering. We had a lengthy discussion about computer memory, processors, processing speeds, and comparing each of our computers to the model of car that would it would be like. Then he asked about 12445656254 other questions about random topics.

~He made some instant pudding by HIMSELF. I know for some kids his age or even younger that may not be a big deal, but usually anytime he makes anything in the kitchen he asks begs cons uses his managerial skills to get me to get out all the supplies, tell him exactly what to do, and ends up handing the entire project over to me anyway- out of some irrational fear of doing it wrong, making a mess, or :gasp: something touching his hands, or general lack of interest. This time I told him where the bowl and the whisk was. He read the directions and did it all himself!

~ There is an animation club and contest online called the 11 Second Club. One night we watched some of the entries. Padawan was fascinated by the videos. He really was interested in learning to make his own. So, we downloaded some animation software called Blender. He took one look at Blender once it was installed and decided that it was too hard for him.- and me too! It does look overwhelming, so we'll figure this one out together til he gets the basics of how to use the program down. Then he's on his own.

We also looked up an online game called Minecraft. He wanted to know the difference between Minecraft and Roblox. I found a forum that said basically that in Roblox you could use Physics, but in Minecraft you can't. So, next we had to look up the definition of Physics. Then I told him the story about how I took Physics in High School, somehow managed to make an A in the class, and didn't really learn a thing. He thought that was great!

While all this was going on I mentioned that I needed to order the science experiment kit to go with the Lifepac Science that I got for him- because he LOVES science and that was the one subject that they neglected in his school.

Apparently- that was considered school, because he said "No school, til THEY start back."

So, I laughed and told him that we were doing school now. I asked him what did he think we were doing by downloading software, looking up definitions, and all that jazz. He said that was different because we were just doing that stuff for the sake of learning it.

hmmm...sounds like Unschooling, doesn't it?

:Evil Grin:

I'm not playing my full hand yet. He thought we were slackers on "school work" this past year. I wonder what he'll think this fall. This is the first time EVER I've been close to being a step ahead of him!!!! I haven't mentioned to him that he wasn't actually going to be filling out the Lifepac workbooks, but I got them to make sure he would have plenty of science on hand (that is somewhat systematic - that part - for my sake.)

~ Then there was the night when a commercial came on for a power inverter that changes 12v D/C to 120v A/C. He asked me how that works. I never could wrap my head around how you can get 120v from 12v. I told him that he would have to ask his Dad some other time. After all, he used to work on power lines, he understands that stuff. Well, Dad explained it to him last night. Padawan said he understands it- I still don't.

~ A couple nights ago when my husband came home from work, Padawan and I were watching a documentary about the states on the History Channel and playing with a Gyroscope.

He accused us of doing school!

I said, "No, we're not doing school. Duh, this is summer break. Padawan wanted to watch this documentary, in fact its our second episode. Padawan can't help it that his Mom is a nerd."

~ Then there was today when I logged into the Currclick Summer Language Club on the kitchen computer to see what it was all about, while Padawan was playing Roblox on his computer in the living room. What else is there when he has computer time- right?

He tried so hard to act disinterested to what I was doing just around the corner from him, but the topic was Russian. He is very interested in most things Russian and German. So, he kept getting up to see what was going on on my computer.

~ Then of course there's Roblox. He's been learning a lot more about adding and modifying scripts and adding other elements to the games he makes. - stuff he was trying to get me to help him with a few months ago, that was mostly over my head but I muddled my way through it.

I've noticed that every time I help him get over his "stuck points" with anything that overwhelms him, he quickly takes off and leaves me behind in the dust!

Anyway, these are a few of the Unschoolish things that I remembered to take notes about.


  1. LOL The kitchen thing sounds familiar. My girls have grown up in the kitchen, helping me crack eggs, measure, mix, knead, and more. But somehow the thought of making it all on their own was too intimidating to them. A few months ago I finally, out of love, "threw them in the deep end of the pool" by getting them all excited about a new (easy) recipe and then suddenly getting myself too busy to make it. It took them about two hours to work up the nerve but finally they sucked up all that fear of failure and made some pretty fantabulous cupcakes.

    And thanks for reminding me of something I need to blog :-)


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