The 7 year old understands Economics better then most Congressmen

This morning, GeekBoy complained that yet again, we didn’t have donuts for breakfast.  I used the cost of gas as a reason for why I would not be driving to the store every morning to get him donuts.  (Which, btw, we only have maybe once a month if that.  Honest.  He’s just on a ring-of-powdered-sugar-goodness kick right now.  Sorry kid, not gonna happen.  Have a PopTart instead.)

GeekBoy asked why was the price of gas so high.  So, I explained about OPEC, drilling in the ANWR, branches of government, lobbyists & how they work, environmentalists, PETA, price increases, supply & demand, oil, gas, and taxes.

At one point, we talked about how Americans need oil all up and down the chain. Electric companies need gas to run the mines to get the coal, Farmers need gas to run the farm to grow the food, factories need gas and oil to run the machines that make and package the food, stores need electricity to run the store, and we need gas to run the car to get to the store to buy the food.  See how the price of gas influences everything?

Then we talked about what happens when the price per barrel goes up – the gas company raises the price we pay at the pump.  I told him that the folks in Congress were getting involved.  That they had decided that the gas company was making too much money, and they (Congress) wanted to tax the gas company extra money (I used the example of 10 cents per gallon).  I asked him, what do you the gas company is going to do when the Congress makes them pay more taxes?  His answer, with no prompting from me, “They will raise the price [of a gallon of gas] again.”

Awesome.  He totally gets it.

I’ll have the steak, and a side of Physics. Thank you.

Last night, a conversation about roller coasters at the dinner table, turned into a 20 minute Physics lesson.

GeekBoy started it by talking about the rollercoaster he wants to build when he grows up. I told him he’d better learn his math and “Physics.” When the Geek asked, “What’s that?” it was the perfect springboard into a lesson on the forces of push, pull, gravity, and friction, along with the the first law of physics, An object at rest tend to stay at rest, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. (Yes, I know that’s not the complete law, but hello!!! he’s 7! lets work on the basics and then get to the technicalities.)

We even experimented with a notebook (inclined plane) and a car, to illustrate the amount of force needed to get the car up the hill. The best one was “too much force” that sent the car flying across the Kitchen. Awesome.

Side note: The first time the car rolled down the notebook instead of up, Before I mentioned anything else, I asked, “Why? Why did it go down instead of up?” GeekBoy said, “Gravity. Gravity pulled it down.” Awesome.  He knew all about Gravity and what it does thanks to watching the docu-drama From the Earth to the Moon.  Thank you Tom Hanks.  Please make more compelling docu-dramas.  The conversations they spur are amazing, and the things the kids pick up are just incredible.

Stickin’ it to the man daily, since 2006

educational-anarchist.jpgThe California Teacher’s Association said that uncredentialed parents teaching their children at home would lead to “educational anarchy.” (PJI via SpunkyHomeschool) Somehow, that is supposed to be a bad thing. But the definition of “anarchy” is the abscence of government. (Webster) As PrincipledDiscovery points out, I’m all for the lack of government control in my home and in my educational choices, and I’m not the only one.

In fact, Dawn at Day by Day Discoveries posted a link to a BBC radio program which explores the history of anarchism. She said the one thing she took from the program was that “when anarchy is used as an accusation it’s often by people who have control over others against those who want to exercise control over themselves.”

Happy as Kings makes some great points. She brings up the point that all of us parents at some point in time were indeed educated. So, either our “schooling” worked, and we are smart enough to find the resources and information to teach our own kids, or it didn’t work, in which case, “why would we want to put our kids through that?”

Mom is Teaching points to Relaxed Homeskool’s post about homeschool being so punk rock.

ImPerceptibility made the blog badge for us.

Somehow, I don’t think this is what the California Teacher’s Association thought would happen when they coined the term “educational anarchy.” I don’t think they took into account who they were talking about. Homeschooling families are not the kind to blindly shrink in fear at the use of the word “anarchy.” We will research the idea, and then embrace it.

Rock on!

Reality Bites – Homeschool edition

I know. I’m a few days late with this post. It was due Saturday. I didn’t even get the reading done until Saturday afternoon. That’s because this week’s chapter was about being Real. Honest and real with your self and those around you. But, despite my self assuredness that I am indeed already “real” with everyone, I’m not. It goes back to that giant pissing match I wrote of last time. That drive to put the best foot forward, and point out the accomplishments while ignoring the shortcomings. This lesson has also made me realize the lack of homeschooling friends in my life, something I just don’t want to dwell on. So I’ve been procrastinating. I just don’t want to write this. I’ve been more then happy to pop the next game into the Wii, and even play along. But write this I must. Because I am sure that I am not the only homeschooling mom out there feeling the lack of like-minded women in her life.

It’s not that I don’t know any, I’m sure I do.  It’s that we all hide behind these facades, feeling the need to be perfect all the time.  The perfection needs to stop.  Recently on an email support group I’m in, someone asked how do the rest of us deal with the pressure?  How do we turn off the teacher for a while?  No one was answering.  The woman had opened her soul about getting burnt out, and no one wanted to go near it.  So I answered.  And I did my best to use Real answers.

Because I do get burnt out, then depressed. Which leads to a few weeks of doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Except those pesky kids of mine keep asking questions & reading (or asking to be read to), and somehow they learn despite my shortcomings.

We started off, almost 2 years ago with a classical, structured school-at-home approach. If you’d have told me then that I’d be an unschooler, I’d have said you were nuts. But we hated the curriculum, and I just couldn’t justify buying it again only to toss half it right off the bat in making modifications for how my kids work. so we went eclectic. But life happens. Depression hit hard. I tried to hit back, and through it all, they learned, even with our new found laid back approach.

Granted I know I’m short on history, long on math and language, and only fair on science and art. Music is mostly music appreciation (“What kind do you like? Oh, you want to rock out? Awesome! Me too!”) and some sing along stuff. But right now, my munchkins are young (7, 5, & 3). We’ve got plenty of time to cover what they need to know.

The biggest struggle is my own guilt. Am I doing enough? Am I failing them? (though the CAT proves I’m not) Am I doing a good job? That guilt sometimes drives me to do crazy things to and for my kids. But truth is, they are doing well. They are sponges that just soak up life and everything around them. It’s actually pretty awesome.

But am I bad for counting Wii Sports as PE? *S*