Saturday, September 10, 2005

Monkey on My Back

I never knew how hard it would be coming up with titles for my blog entries! There is a story for this one and I'll get to it in a minute.

Today, C came home early from work, so it was kinda like a weekend for me. And good thing, too, because I was busy getting ready for a meeting for the Life Learners tonight. We are starting a new thing for the group and the parents got together tonight to discuss ideas and all. Basically we are planning more elaborate "stuff" for our get togethers, adding in a bit more excitement to the free play that the kids are doing now. Once a week we will do our usual park day/outing and once a week we are meeting in one of our houses to strew cool stuff for the kids to do/see/learn/play/touch. The concept of strewing is central to unschooling. As unschooling parents it is our job to show the world to our kids, show them the stuff they have not seen, offer the opportunity to try new things, etc. So, we strew stuff around for them to notice and pick up, ask about, try on, watch, read, etc. All with no expectations for what they will get out of it, or even that they will be interested. Life as a great big smorgasbord of learning! With trust that what is important to them and their purpose here will be discovered when the time is right.

While the meeting was going on, C and the girls were supposed to be upstairs, playing or whatever to give us adults time to brainstorm and plan. Of course, my kids, never having met a stranger and already knowing these moms very well, were having a hard time staying out of sight, let alone the conversation! E was crying at first because she could not handle missing out on the great party she assumed we were having. And A kept coming to the railing that looks down on the dining room table where we were meeting, and asking questions or trying to tell us something. I think it is really sweet how they just do not see a difference between adults and kids when it comes to friendship.

Here comes the story about the title. E came downstairs and came up next to me. I turned to her and she had this stuffed monkey, with very long arms that have velcro on the hands and feet, attached to her torso. Monkey on her back. She wanted to tell everyone what she wanted to do when she grew up, so I waited for a break in conversation and told everyone that E wanted to tell them something. She announced that she is going to be an animal rescuer. I guess she had started by rescuing the monkey. This new animal rescuer idea comes from them watching that new show, the Dora spin-off. The one they saw today had a Humpback Whale in it. On the show, they had the sound that the animal in trouble makes and they were figuring out which kind of animal it was. A heard the sound and said, "It's a humpback whale. I know that sound." We listened to whale song months ago on the internet. I couldn't tell you which kind of whale makes which sound. Go figure.

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