Out and About

One big misconception of homeschooling is that all homeschoolers do is sit around the kitchen table working in text books. So not true. Some weeks we seem to be doing more outside of the house than inside. I’m sure it will only continue to be more so as the kids get older. Most the families I talk with actually have to be careful not to make themselves too busy in outside activities. There are so many great activities and field trips and classes to sign up for. Since the kids are still so young, we try to keep our schedule pretty light. But already we have gone to plays, toured the State Capitol, lots of museum trips, a homeschool train ride in Osceola, Wisconsin, two different homeschool groups, the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, art classes, Karate classes, along with ECFE, La Leche, Vegkins, and other playdates and groups.

This week we went to ECFE Playtime, pictured above, which is always a fun time for the kids to get that winter energy out in the gym as well as do some painting, pretending, and building.

At our homeschool group this week it was a math theme which is one of Ava’s favorite things. She and her friend worked on math problems most of the time and Noah watched the older boys play chess with  transformer-style chess pieces! I was worried he would get upset about not being able to play it yet, but he just loved to watch them play the game.

There were two author/book presentations this weekend. The first, was John Taylor Gatto, (which I attended without the kids). John Taylor Gatto is the author of “Dumbing Us Down,” “Weapons of Mass Instruction,” and “The Underground History of American Education.” He was an award-winning public school teacher for 30 years before resigning. He now travels and lectures about school reform.
He was so great to listen to (let me know if you want my notes from the lecture!) and I can’t wait to dive into the rest of his books. I’ve read “Dumbing Us Down” and was thrilled through the entire thing. His books are the kind that the entire time I’m reading I’m nodding my head and saying “Yes!” It’s so exciting for me to see someone put into words so well, about what I had only a clue about during my years in institutionalized forced schooling. I always felt something just wasn’t right. And he explains so well why school is what it is, the history behind it, the philosophies behind it, and the intention. Yes. School is intended to be just the way it is. With no desire for improvement. It fascinates me and I feel fortunate that I’m drawn to question it and read about it.

The second author presentation we saw this weekend was through Vegkins, a local group for vegetarian and vegan families that always plans fun activities. Today it was the authors of “Tulip’s Story” by Andy Hoeveler and Jessica Slaughter. Ethique Nouveau, an all-vegan store in Minneapolis, hosted a book reading by the authors of this sweet book about a dog named Tulip, who after starting out in an unfortunate situation, found her Forever Home. Tulip herself was there as well and the kids got to meet her. It was such a heart-warming experience to know how far Tulip has come and how happy she now is. And it’s so great that the authors, whom of which adopted her, are sharing her story to help other dogs and teach kids about compassion and pet adoption (versus buying from a pet shop).

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