This is a phrase we use when we decide the children are experiencing a learning opportunity. Some are planned and others we don’t recognize until we see them. The children usually roll their eyes when we state they are experiencing “Homeschool!”
Technically the girls are enrolled in our Indiana school district, only Brody is Homechool!ed. Back in July I wrote a post on how the children are being educated during our 10 months of travel. Arden and Scarlet complete courses on-line. They have to get a 90% or better on each learning unit quiz be fore they can move forward. Arden has 5 classes and Scarlet has 2. Scarlet is in 7th grade and they really only have online curricula for high school, she is taking Algebra nad Multi-cultural studies. To round out Scarlet’s learning, she reads items from the school book list and completes a Junior Ranger program at every national park she visits.
The approach is working well for us but we are reliant on the internet so there have been times when Arden couldn’t do much of anything because we were out of range. Another drawback is online answers must be written in a specific manner to be accepted. It resembles a 1980’s computer adventure game where you had to type just the right command words for your avatar to complete a task and move to the next level. It can be quite maddening. Arden is enrolled in an art class and completes her assignments in the RV and then sends pictures back to the teacher. We are pleased that she is able to have an arts class in this manner. A large thank you to the teacher, Mrs. Park, for going out of her way to make this class a possibility for Arden.
Initally Scarlet’s multi-cultural studies appeared to be in line with our desires to venture out into the wide world. Unfortunatley it is a course in recognizing the pervasiveness of – and these are words from the course text – “white privilege” in about every setting you can imagine. When we return I will recommend this class be renamed so as not to fool anyone. And to be clear – there is bias and discrimination throughout our society, not just based on cultural background but also on gender, socio-economic status, family situation… the list goes on. Scarlet would be better servied to recognize bias in it’s many forms not just that which is culturally based. I’ll get off my soap-box now.
I believe Brent signed some paper letting Indiana school adminstrators know we were responsible for his education. true homeschool parents will shake their heads at our brand of homeschool which has 4 components. 1) Complete lessons in the workbooks Scarlet appropriated from her 3rd grade desk neighbor who left after 1 week of attending class 2) complete lessons on preprogrammed educational software on his Nabi, a children’s tablet 3) Junior Ranger programs at all National Parks and 4) read books, he recently finished Shackleton’s Stowaway and is now reading Where the Red Fern Grows.
Many of our unique experiences have been detailed in this blog so I won’t recount everything we have done where kids hopefully learned something awesome. But there is one that did not make the blog, the kids learned about medical sutures. While visiting my sister, an ER doctor, the children suited up in scrubs and learned different stitching techniques using chicken breasts. We have no idea if they will ever use the skill (or if they should) but it was a fun evening.