Thursday, March 09, 2006

Happy Latin Fleas in My Bathtub

My 6 y.o. daughter and I were taking a bath together this morning, when out of the blue she said "If you were a flea, your Latin name would be Flea (prounounced Flee-uh), and since I'm your baby, I would be Larva. But since it's in Latin, it would be pronounced "Larwa". And daddy would be Fleaus, and M. would be Larvus (Lar-wus). And if daddy was happy, I would say Fleaus laetus est, but if you were happy, I'd say "Flea laeta est" because you're a girl flea."

Wow, 6:45 in the morning and I haven't had my first cup of mate' yet and her brain is spinning a million miles an hour. But when I said that this came "out of the blue", I'm mistaken. Unschooling is learning made up of a thousand points of interest, and all the connections between them. This didn't come out of the blue, it was born from all of those wonderful connections.

Why fleas? Because DH and I were talking about giving our pets their Advantage flea medicine this morning.

Why larva? Because my son M.(9) just ordered some Pikmin figurines (made from the video game Pikmin,), and his came with a Bulborb, which is a creature that goes through a larval stage, so yesterday we had been talking about insects and larval stages and caterpillars, butterflies, all of that.

Why Latin? Well, that's a bit more complex. Two years ago, M's friend got a computer game called Age of Mythology, and M. fell in love with it. So we bought it for him and he played it extensively. That led to a love of all things Greek (in the game, you get to be the God of one of several ancient civilizations, and all of the Greek mythic heroes and creatures are represented) and eventually he also got Age of Empires and fell in love with all things Roman as well. This led in many different avenues, including reading The Iliad and The Odyssey as bedtime chapter books last year, and structuring much of a family vacation around visiting Roman sites, like the Roman baths in Bath, England, and the still-functioning Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain. This year, he anguished between trying to learn ancient Greek and learning Latin. We checked out materials from the library, but nothing seemed to click well. As luck would have it, our local homeschool resource center offered a Latin class aimed at younger kids and we decided to take it. The curriculum used is Minimus, which is interesting and exciting for kids, and our teacher is beyond excellent. So the bottom line is that both of my kids have been learning Latin, something that seemed beyond boring in my dim recollection of my school days, but now has become fun and exciting.

Pets, figurines, video games, classes - all a part of our unschooling lives together. All connections being made, every day. All of these add up to a bathtub conversation about happy fleas, in Latin.

4 comments:

Mercedes said...

WOW - Robin - awesome blog. I know a few unschooling doubters that I'm going to send your way -disclaimer and all :-)

I sent you an e-mail awhile ago saying I would love to read your novel-in-the-making - I am inspired when I read just about anything you write (am I gushing here?)

Mercedes said...

WOW - Robin - awesome blog. I know a few unschooling doubters that I'm going to send your way -disclaimer and all :-)

I sent you an e-mail awhile ago saying I would love to read your novel-in-the-making - I am inspired when I read just about anything you write (am I gushing here?)

Robin said...

Hey Mercedes, thanks! Drop me another email and I'll fire off my novel your way... sorry I must've missed your first one.
-Robin-

gerardine said...

Hi Robin,
We're from Australia, and our 3 children are unschoolers. We live a very similar life to yours. The kids love to hear about your "chooks" as we call them. Ours are forever on the lookout for an escape route. The kids are always making tents in the loungeroom or in our front yard(which baffles all our neighbourhood that I would let the yard get so temporarily untidy). They also make bike ramps and use big mounds of dirt and the neighbourhood kids join in but aren't allowed to do it at their place, even though they've been locked up all day in a classroom.
Freedom, that's what living is really about. Loved your blog, will send it to friends who "just don't get it". Cheers, Gerardine.