Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On the Fence

I've been thinking a lot about self-directed vs. mom-directed learning and trying to capture the kids doing what they chose to do and doing what I chose for them to do.

Barbara commented that she finds good things happen at lots of points along the continuum. When I read this I gave a giant sigh of relief. I've always felt I should get off the fence and choose! I can just keep sitting on the fence and embrace being an eclectic homeschooler. Aaah...

Speaking of choosing...

Yesterday after all day outside at Trackers class we went to the park...without snacks. Lucky for us friends shared, but by the time we left the kids were saying, "I'm hungry. I'm hungry. I'm hungry."

We passed by Berkeley Bowl. Berkeley Bowl was our favorite place to grocery shop before we had kids, but it had been years since I had been there because of The Parking Situation. Which is Always Bad. But this time I spied a parking spot. We hung a U and pulled in.

I have to mention that my favorite podcast is Radiolab. Radiolab's home station is WNYC. That is W New York City. So, they are based in America's largest city, which is--I just checked--twice as populous as #2 Los Angeles.

Why is this important, you ask? Because, when Radiolab did an episode on choice and on being overwhelmed by choices, did they go somewhere in vast New York?

Nope, they went all the way across the country to Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley, CA, a city which is nearly 100 times less populous than NY. My dad, who grew up in New York City likes to say, "They say New York has one of everything, well Berkeley has two."

Berkeley Bowl, at least when it comes to fruits and vegetables, has, well, enough to make you stop and goggle.

I let the kids run around and pick things they wanted to try like many small citrus fruits whose names I don't know, and a horned melon, and quail eggs and goat butter.


This morning the kids couldn't decide how they wanted them, so we had quail eggs over easy, sunny side up and soft boiled with pain levain and goat butter.

Evelyn got on the internet to see if we can raise quail in our backyard. Turns out you can get an incubator and 8 fertile eggs for $70.

Should I facilitate this interest? Do we want to be backyard farmers?

Think I'll stay on the fence for a while.

10 comments:

Stefaneener said...

Yes. Of course. What a silly question. Build a raccoon-proof pen and go with the quails. So incredibly cute.

patricia said...

Did I ever tell you about my "philosophy of homeschooling" essay? It's an essay I tinkered with for about two years. It just wouldn't come together--mostly because my philosophy of homeschooling kept shifting. I finally gave up on the essay, realizing that I didn't have a philosophy of homeschooling. Later, I realized that I actually do have one: my philosophy of homeschooling is that it's best to keep switching things up, depending on the kids' needs, the parents' needs, the weather outside, someone's newfound interest in quail...

How can you complain about a kid who won't eat raw apples when they'll eat *quails' eggs*? I don't think any of my three would consider it!

threegirlpileup said...

Yay for sighs of relief!

(and I love RadioLab too. LOVE it.)

Diane said...

What an interesting idea and great learning experience raising quail would be. You should totally do it.

poornima said...

This is what i say to myself: as long as one is the cheer leader and not the ring master, and learning is through invitation and not coercion, self-directed and mom-directed will be one and the same...enriching!...a happy medium.

AM said...

I think this quail project is tres cuil. Is Evelyn willing to make a commitment of responsibility for the care of the quail?

Evelyn Gunter said...

I would care for the quail. They are smaller than chickens, and they don't crow.

gina said...

I was thinking what patricia was thinking- quail eggs? And they ate them? And then wanted to raise more? FABULOUS!!!

Sounds like a great store - wish we had one.

NOTE: Interesting you say hung a U... we say banged a U or banged a
U-ie.

Robert van de Walle said...

Embrace the spectrum!

Robert van de Walle said...

Gosh, it's hard for me to comment on your blog. This comment tool doesn't work well in my browser. (you don't have to publish this particular comment, just so you know.)