Two of my kids came home from a birthday party today with war stories. They were literally war stories because it was a little boy’s birthday party and all the other little boys brought guns so they could shoot each other. What could be more festive?
My daughter wasn’t actually supposed to participate in the Airsoft war. She attneded the party as the big sister to help keep the Birthday Boy’s big sister entertained, but the appeal of shooting and being shot overcame her. So she came home with welts on her face and stories of being shot on the cheek and in the ear by her little brother. She now wants her own Airsoft gun…supposedly for entertainment purposes, but possibly for revenge as well.
But little brother’s story wins. He got shot in the nose. I mean actually IN the nose. Inside the nose. He said he felt the pellet hit his nose but he thought it fell down to the ground like good little pellets should. He also said he felt “a loose booger.” As he was leaving the party, he blew his nose and shot the pellet out.
I’m only glad that he didn’t retrieve the pellet to save as a souvenir.
We don’t have ordinary moments around here.
The unschooling and relaxed homeschooling sites always promised me this would happen. They promised that if I provided my children an environment rich in experiences and opportunities, and I offered them encouragement and space to explore, that they would ask to learn things. That they would naturally be drawn to trying, learning, reading, doing.
And after 12 years of homeschooling, I’m still thrilled when it happens, and surprised that it doesn’t happen when and where I thought it should.
Right now, I have an 11-yo voluntarily studying a science curriculum designed for 7th/8th graders, a 13-yo who begged to study ancient Greek history and wants to volunteer to haul hay at a horse farm for handicapped kids, and a 16-yo who (after a lifetime of dedicated couch-potato-hood) wants to exercise for an hour a day and (after a lifetime of scorning powertools and construction work) to build sets and assemble furniture for the community theater.
Each of them was inspired to start these projects by different factors, combinations of friends’ influences and previous school projects and simply internal joys that they’ve discovered by trying something new.
It’s lovely when they beg to learn. I love it.
And yet, I’m still cracking a whip because there are things they don’t want to do. Math. Sigh. I’m still seeking balance.