The week before I left for more Thai Yoga Bodywork training, we finished our last science lesson before summer break (Intellego Unit Studies, The Human Body Vol 1).
They took two weeks off to accommodate my absence and my return (a couple days to unpack, re-group). Now we're in summer-mode and the only structured learning is math. They read, too--books of their choosing. The kids have been doing daily reading for a couple years, mostly to give them something to do while I cleaned houses in summer months. (Three hours of cartoons is too indulgent.)
While I was away, Nathan discovered a comic bookish cartoon: One Piece. It's in Japanese, so they have to read subtitles while watching episodes on YouTube. While at the library, Nate found a magazine of like-comics called Shōnen manga (is a popular genre of Japanese comics, generally about action/fighting but often contains a sense of humor and strong growing friendship-bonds between the characters). The magazine has installments of "One Piece," and it was the first thing read out the weekly library haul. Although Nathan found it, Madelyn seems more enamored of it. While in the car last week, Madelyn relayed the following:
She had told a neighborhood friend about this infatuation with "One Piece" a Japanese show about pirates, and the girl told her she was "crazy" to like that "boy show." Madelyn said, "Mom, I told her I can like anything I want, and that boys can like girl stuff, too, like skirts and make-up."
She didn't say this to get my approval; she said this as a matter of fact, defending her right to like what she wants. It proves that being more on her own is better than the immersion of school and peer groups. She doesn't have to align herself with her friends for security. She is secure with us, at home, and can assert herself without fear.
Nathan celebrated a birthday and requested an unusual gift: to spend the night, by himself, with a friend who is exactly sixty years older than he. He loves her company, and she accepted the offer to take him.This is the same friend who taught him how to ante up in poker, play a version of cribbage, and introduced a kiddie-version of Scrabble (Bananagrams). In turn, he has tutored her in Pokemon and Mario Brothers online games.
Here is a lecture Rob and I watched, from TED.com:
Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong
I found it through a blog about unschooling, and it was striking to realize how we avoid being wrong or perceived by others as wrong--because being wrong is what makes humans innovate and create. Avoiding being wrong is stagnation. Take twenty minutes to watch/listen. You'll like it, (but I could be wrong).
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