“Reducing children to a test score is the worst form of identity theft we could commit in schools.” Steven Covey
Some quotes just make one think!
JJ has decided to stop contributing to this blog. This is not a surprise as the last few weeks have been an effort for her to write. This blog is about our unschooling experiences it would be remiss to force something that she really doesn’t want to do anymore. I think she has done extremely well writing every week since January. At nine years of age this in itself is a sterling achievement. I am sad that my writing partner has retired, but I plan to continue covering her learning experience by including pictures, youtube clips and bullet point her tweets so we don’t lose what she has been up to during the week.
This week saw us visiting my good friend J at her lovely place in Magaliesburg. J was out when we arrived. JJ and I settled onto my favourite spot, the patio with stunning views over the Magalies mountain range, when my cell phone rang. J was calling to say the farm adjacent to us was experiencing a bush fire. We stood on the patio wall and the sight that met us was a wall of fire over 6 feet high. Luckily J and T had created solid fire breaks around their property so the fire never came close. However it raged over the mountain eating up the dry vegetation, driven by the August winds, until the fire brigade managed to get it under control. I just hope the wildlife managed to evade the flames. The rest of the evening and next day was uneventful. We were treated to a lovely dinner at the Black Horse restaurant and breakfast at another lodge.
Whilst in Magaliesburg I read aloud to JJ a few African stories about animals. The race that was Rigged was a story between a Hare and Tortoise, it was a Swazi story yet had a similar ring to our western equivalent of The Tortoise and the Hare. The more I read various different cultures stories the more I realise how many of the favourites get repeated. For example the Gildermesh story has elements of the great flood (Noah’s Ark)and there seem to be many variations on the Cinderella story.
JJ swam for the first time this year in the Magaliesburg pool, it was freezing. We first had to rescue over ten grasshoppers that had become stranded in the pool before she would enter. We did this by flicking them out with long sticks. JJ jumped on the trampoline and then spent hours in her imaginary world on the jungle gym. JJ loves being in the countryside – it is good for her soul.
In our downtime at Magaliesburg I showed JJ how to add fractions and then reduce them to their lowest form. She ended up begging me to give her more and more sums to practise. She loves learning different skills. We must have spent a few hours on this maths task with her begging for more.
JJ: I often wonder how conversations evolve Me: Yes I do. Sometimes I work backwards to see how I got to where I ended up and it is amazing the connections made JJ: So do I Mom.
I attended a local writers evening, it was most enjoyable – plenty of wine, a meal and advice. A publisher gave a talk on the state of the publishing industry. Which doesn’t sound that promising, yet she believes there will always be a place for the printed book, the ebook explosion has certainly taken its toll. I think I might start to become a regular at this monthly meeting. Thank you @worktheclock for organising.
Any spare moment I’ve been mosaicing my mirror, which seems to be taking on an unplanned theme of its own – it is about creation, the universe, love and life. As I’m working I find myself pouring in all the emotions I have around my aunt Pam passing. This mosaic is proving to be very therapeutic.
Part of this week has been dedicated to organising the sale of my old Ford, with 280,000 km on the clock, in order to purchase my deceased aunts car. I seemed to struggle this week, the car being a constant reminder of Pam’s absence. Many a time I found myself wishing I could wave a magic wand and to have my aunt back. I hope I don’t feel this every time I drive her car, but I’m sure time will ease the pain.
Some interesting articles this week:
In light of the recent Wunderlich debacle @CBeFree4 posted this letter from an open-minded (not!) german on homeschooling in Germany. If anything it will make you chuckle.
An interesting article on a school experiment where Cognitive Science Meets Pre-Algebra
JJ’s tweets in bullet form:
- Played Minecraft I’m building a swimming pool. Played Minecraft when home, chatted to mom about a castle I want to build with a moat and a draw bridge and silver fish in the moat
- Online searching for a second hand tablet that I hope to save up for
- Playing with my friend who has been away for 6 weeks. It is so nice to have her back
- Modern dance
- Read Percy Jackson
- I just felt one of Bluebell’s puppies kick with mom
- In Magaliesburg I swam, jumped on the trampoline and spent hours on the jungle gym. I love being in the countryside. I love going into my own world
- Mom read aloud two African stories to me one of them was a Swazi one about The Race that was Rigged between a Hare and a Tortoise – sound familiar?
- Mom showed me how to add fractions and then reduce them to the lowest form. I loved them and wanted to do more. I got every answer correct
- On our drive to and from Magaliesburg I chatting to mom about lots of things
- I spent loads of time daydreaming, playing by myself most of the morning in Magaliesburg in my own world. Mom calls it JJ’s world. I also fed Stardust and Charlie, the horses, and then they wouldn’t stop following me!
- We had a delicious breakfast out with J. Magaliesburg is so good for our souls
- I watch several Faulty Towers episodes and The Simpsons Movie
- I went to my friend D’s party and swam, played swingball and had loads of fun. His cake was a football field with a ball made by his mom she is a brilliant cake decorator
- I had a long chat with dad on Saturday morning
- I watching the fifth Harry Potter movie again!
- I picked loads of tomatoes from the garden