Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When Homeschoolers Go Unsupervised

I have a plan. It's in a plan book. Sometimes I follow it. Sometimes I get delayed. Sometimes something better comes up.

Friday, I planned to catch up with some of the poetry assignments on which we'd fallen behind by taking time to build a chicken home earlier in the week. But then we were invited to visit a local historic site and tour it with other families. Afterward, we were invited to play at the home of E's first soul mate. We COULD have passed up both of those opportunities, but one of the greatest things about home education is the ability to be flexible, to take opportunities as they come and to relax about the less important "plans" which often seem so crucial during the scheming phase.

This morning, we had some art history on which to catch up - some projects, some reading, some online work. But while I was getting dressed for the day, E wanted to know if I had any white t-shirts she could use.

My first thought, "White? Really?" And the knowledge that, upon return, it was likely never to be white again.

Still, she's a creative kid, and rather than question her every move, I just handed it over with a smile and some curiosity.

Two minutes later she showed up with the shirt on, a belt, and question about the Roman bulla, the amulet worn by Roman boys until they reached manhood. There's a girls' version as well, the lanula. Girls wore them until they were married, at which time the lanula and all all her childhood things were thrown into a fire. We looked up images of lanulae, then E disappeared again.

Several minutes she appeared in her belted tunic, the newly created lanula hanging from her neck.

"Mom? How much leather do we have?"

My cousin, Skip, is a saddle maker. During our visit last year, he gave us a bag full of leather scraps which we've used now and again, shared with other kids at a camp out, and otherwise kept stashed in the craft cupboard.

Two big flat pieces of leather and kitchen shears in hand, E showed up again.

"How do you CUT this stuff?"

Certainly not with kitchen shears - I tried.

We don't have heavy leather-working tools, nor tin snips, so I resorted to the box-cutting razor blade, the garden shears and brute strength. Neither do we have an awl, so once she figured out how she wanted to create the ties for the shoes, I used hammer and the sharpest screwdriver we have to pound holes through the leather.

Quiet time again. Me tasking, V organizing some of her short stories, E figuring and lacing. Et, MAGICAE!


  1. i only saw 1 shoe. did she end up with 2?

  2. I underestimated you! You're VERY astute! She DID end up with two, but I was jumping the gun so I could get the post up before we headed out for their Latin class. Honestly, I didn't think anyone would notice.

  3. I love how days can go by filled with wonderful things, yet not at all be according to plan.

  4. We have days like that and I love them! Kids need time to be "allowed" to develop their creativity!

  5. Most good! I'm looking forward to this sort of thing starting at our house soon!

  6. So...when do we get to see the rest of the outfit? What a fun day of learning for your children.
    Merry Christmas,

  7. Well...except that one shoe is missing in the first photo, that's the whole ball o' wax. :)

  8. Love it! And the unplanned often contains the best lessons. If only I could plan for that...

  9. Wonderful! This year I am finally learning it's okay to let go of the plan, and that I am not stunting my children's growth.

    I found you through the Unschooling Carnival.


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