Wednesday, October 12, 2005

An hour in the life

Something got me thinking today about the little tiny details that creep into our lives just as we live them. I looked at my "Day in the Life" posts and realized that although they seem very detailed, they don't do the various and sundry unschooling moments justice. So for about an hour this afternoon I observed the details. It was a transitional hour between two activities for the kids, and not enough time to really get into an activity in much detail ... one of those fleeting hours where nothing much seems to happen, one that doesn't tend to get written into my memory. A lot actually happens, though, as it turns out:

Fiona noticed that the laundry airer isn't as heavy on the pulley coming down as going up... because the clothes are dry! She folded pants, along their line of symmetry. "The same on both sides," she said, making a neat fold.

Sophie helped Fiona practice on her new (real! not a box any more!) violin. Guided her bow-hold, helped her mimic the Twinkle Rhythms.

Fiona learned some names of the parts of her new violin. From Sophie.

Sophie learned that when the bridge on Fiona's violin shifts, the A and E strings go flat. We talked about why Fiona's bridge shifts so easily, while those on bigger violins don't (because the tension on the strings is lower, the strings being shorter but tuned to the same pitches).

Noah and Sophie worked on some invented origami patterns for a while. They had to do some problem-solving with planes and directions to figure out why their two figures were turning out differently when they were apparently doing the same things.

Erin looked through a newly arrived Latin book. We browsed through it together and decided to work on a little bit of the first chapter together this evening.

She read from "The Deluxe Transitive Vampire", a book about grammar.

We all watched a bit of a puppy training video and discussed why the puppies responded the way they did... trying to see the experience being portrayed through their canine eyes. The kids made observations about how this applied to our puppy Freya.

We discussed the difficulty inherent in having five self-motivated self-directed people co-existing all day long who all occasionally (but rarely at the same moment) want to do particular things together as a group. How can we make those collaborative ventures happen when we all have such difficulty making transitions? No brilliant solutions reached, but plenty of food for thought.

Noah and Sophie prepared a snack to take to art class.

Noah and I talked about how he felt about sharing a sketch he'd done this week with his art teacher. He'd rather not, though he's proud of it. We talked about his need for privacy when doing work that's important to him.

We talked about whether we wanted to give our surplus mat board to the art teacher. How much will we want to keep for bookbinding projects?


I suppose this is a typical hour. It's amazing how much happens when nothing's happening.

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