This morning Rowan was part way through his academics (which today included multiplication, place value, addition/subtraction and science) when he suddenly decided he didn't want to do any more which is unusual for him as he normally loves to learn.
I tried to encourage him but he was pretty resistant. However, instead of tantruming he told me very calmly: 'Please Jenny, I am feeling tired and lazy right now, can we finish our academics later on at Barton Springs?'
Now how could I not agree to that very reasonable request especially because Barton Springs is a beautiful natural water hole set in a park in the middle of downtown Austin.
Anyway, it was a very warm day so seemed like a wonderful idea to me. Off we went and when we got to the springs Rowan decided we would set up an imaginary school for fish where I was the teacher and he was one of the pupils along with fish named Little Jonny Dory and Tiddler.
Rowan told me that he and the other pupils had to listen to the teacher and raise their hand if they knew the answer to a question. He decided that we would cover five subjects (science, history, geography, grammar and maths) with breaks for play in between (marked by a bell). Here are examples of the questions that I asked him and the answers that he gave...
Science: Q. What does the ribcage protect? A. The heart and the lungs
Q.What does the skull protect? A. The brain
Q. What happens to the heart when a person exercises? A. It pumps faster
Q. Why? A. Because the body needs more oxygen
Q. Which organ helps you to breathe? A. The lungs
Q. Which organ makes your poo? A. The intestines
Q. Which organ makes your pee or urine? A. The kidneys
Q. When a person is not exercising how long does it take blood to be pumped from your heart to your toes and back again? A. One minute
Q. How many vertabrae does a human spine have? A. 26
Q. How many years ago did homo sapiens or humans evolve from early hominids? A. 200,000
Q. What happened 30,000 years ago? A. The Ice Age began
Q. What animals were alive then? A. Woolly Mammoths, Woolly Rhinos, Saber Tooth Tigers, Mastedons
Q. Are any of those animals still alive now? A. No they are extinct
Q. What did human beings do 10,000 years ago A. They domisticated plants and animals
Q. What sort of animals did they domisticate? A. Cheetahs, dogs, cats, goats, sheep, cows, pigs, horses
Q. Can you name the seven continents? A. Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Antartica
Q. Can you name the four oceans? A. Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic
Q. What is the rhyme we use to help remember the four directions on a compass? A. Naughty Elephants Squirt Water
Q. Which stands for? A. North, East, South, West
Q. What should all sentences start with? A. A capital letter
Q. What should all sentences end with? A. A period
Q. Should the word I be written with a lower case letter? A. No an upper case letter
Q. What do sentences tell us? A. A complete idea
Q. What is 3x6? A. 18
Q. What else equals 18? A. 2x9 and 18x1
Q. How many hundreds are there is 544? A. 5
Q. And how many tens? A. 4
Q. And how many ones? A. 4
Now who disagrees that school is a lot more fun when you are swimming with fish and enjoying what you are learning?