Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mardi Gras Madness

Phat costumes for Fat Tuesday! The girls decided to dress up for our Mardi Gras celebration at the last minute. Can anyone say "German engineering in the haus!" The girls had a blast, though they looked more like they were headed to a rave than to Bourbon Street. We had a delicious New Ahlins style meal--cajun shrimp etouffee, rice, black beans and cornbread. Mmmmmm-mmmmmm!

The girls, however, are not the only ones with a distinctive fashion sense in this family. Not to be outdone, Sam's dressed up in his pjs reminiscent of a Seussian style, accented with his Daniel Boon hat. Golly, my kids have style! Gotta love the free spirits of unschooled kiddos! This picture was taken a few weeks ago, but I just had to find a way to work it in to the blog somehow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Catch that Train...

The following represents a series of conversations that occurred over our Valentine's dinner. I wanted to take the time to type it out because I (and many other unschoolers) often talk about all the learning that goes on just by having cool conversations with our kids, and this seemed like such a great example. This one was rather heavy on my interests, but we're just as likely to have really cool discussions that are heavy on science--dh's field of interest--or anything else for that matter.

Hanging out with the kids while having hors d'oevres, we began talking about loads of things that led to a really cool series of discussions throughout the rest of the evening until we finally wrapped up over strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce. Many of these topics were very cursorily covered, at a level the kids could grasp and as the result of questions they asked or attempts to illustrate the topic with an example they'd be familiar with, but nevertheless, we created and reinforced loads more connections on our grand unschooling dot-to-dot!

See if you can catch this crazy train...

bolting food--new puppy

Pip from Great Expectations, Oliver Twist--recent commercials--Dickens, serial publications, Industrial Revolution

Child labor laws, current poverty level across the world

sweatshops, illegal aliens, Men in Black--opening scene

American wealth, unable to fathom poverty

"full fathom five thy father lies" --Shakespeare, Donne or Hopkins--look it up because I can't remember which--it was Shakespeare, but GM Hopkins' "Wreck of the Deutschland" was the other poem I was thinking of

Master and Commander, sea measurements, Mark Twain

dirty limericks in which dh always tries to rhyme "Hohakas" (don't ask me why, except he's from NJ--reminiscent of Hackensack?)

iambic pentameter, trochaic meter

Tyger, Tyger--one of the kids' favorite poems--Little Lamb, William Blake

innocence vs. experience

Christian mythology, garden of eden, tree of knowledge, fall from grace

All of which ended with a really deep discussion of whether we'd choose knowledge or painless obedience--guess which we all chose? ;)