Patrick loves to make fun of our homeschooling. I'm not sure if it is because he is JEALOUS that we are having fun with it or if it is simply because he thinks our schooling materials are a bit... backward. He calls us "Amish homeschoolers" and likes to laugh at the readers I pick out.
"In every story, there's the bad kid who disobeys his parents and dies or loses his money," he snorted once. "And there's a good kid who like, gets an orange or something for a reward at the end."
Well, whatever. But this is the same child who will spend hours online memorizing statistics about various Pokemon characters, sorting through his card collection and playing the game on his DS. He's even been to a few league sessions and enjoys it immensely.
My point being, he learns quite a bit without anyone telling him what to learn, when or where. It isn't necessarily something I would select as curriculum were I homeschooling him, but I sure think those hours could be counted as a "Pokemon Elective." Who says it all has to be about home economics and woodworking if that isn't what interests the child?
Widdle Shamrock blogged recently about how her unschooled homeschoolers are interested in "boring" school-type stuff, to the horror of their friends.
"The boys never realised they were being ‘taught’ until we made friends with some mainstreamed children," she wrote. "The toys the boys pulled out were ‘learning stuff and boring’ according to the friends. From that moment, things changed for us in the sense that whenever we went to ‘do’ anything, the boys would ask, ‘is this learning or is this fun?’"
I have to admit to doing rather the opposite during the course of a day. I'll realize they were *actually discussing something school-related* and jump in to say, "That's a half hour of homeschool, RIGHT THERE!" and snicker to myself when the older boys overhearing protest that they weren't talking about it for a full half hour, that you can't count regular conversations as "school," etc..
I don't log every conversation we have down, naturally, but I did log down the three hours they spent (so far) watching Ken Burns' Civil War documentary. "Why isn't McClellan attacking?!" Elf keeps turning to ask me. I think TV time can be learning time sometimes, and I guess having homeschooled, the children don't see much difference between school and life. They are, however, asking frequently about whether this "counts" toward their hours.
Not that they should have to worry about that. Missouri state law dictates 1,000 hours per school year, and we logged close to 1900 last year. I love my curriculum-in-a-box stuff even if it doesn't all come from the same box (!), but I can't say anywhere close to all our learning occurs during the hours we're doing worksheets.