Sometimes Learning is Quiet.

As unschoolers, we do a lot of learning around here. I mentioned before that sometimes it is big eventful learning like the examples in my last post. But sometimes, it is quiet, almost undetectable learning. Sometimes we are cuddled up, deep in conversation or poring over the pages of a book. Sometimes we are noticing our surroundings and learning silently, inwardly. Sometimes we visit Bumpa on the boat and whole worlds open up to explore around the docks, or with the fascinating tools he keeps for boat maintenance, or from the stories he tells about his life. Sometimes we sit out in the sunshine, or walk in the rain, or jump on the trampoline and someone sees something or a thought pops into their head and we discuss or debate or ask questions about them. Often that leads to more learning and exploring and researching…and sometimes it doesn’t.

The past week we had many of those moments.

Bubby took apart a smart watch to see how it worked. He found tiny gears, a battery, a miniature computer, and so many other little bits pieces. His Bumpa helped to explain to him what all of those bits do while we sat in the cabin of his sailboat.

We watched starlings nesting in the boxes built on a local dock by some people in our community who saw a need.

We found moonjellies and minnows and sea anemones in the water beside Bumpa’s boat.

We worked together to create a board game based on an app that Bubby loves to play when he expressed the interest. It turned about amazing and challenging, with fun and complicated rules that Bubby came up with all on his own. It was art, and social studies, and language, and math, and problem solving all balled into one.

We read stories about North America’s southwestern desert (and we cooked a southwestern meal of Chimichanga’s to go with it), kittens, farming, following dreams, and bullies. And we started a new novel about sailing and adventures and desert islands.

We played an Egyptian game called Senet, and a counting game, and a dice game called Tenzi.

Sometimes learning is quiet, and it’s worth mentioning, too.

A minnow! We put him back.Can you spot the sea creature?


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