Well fall is here, and for us that means that we get to have our "classroom" to ourselves again. Our classroom is a five acre field with a bike trail going through it.
It's where we make model solar systems, hunt for insects, go swimming in summer, and mostly, pretend it's the African savannah and play games where our wagons are gazelles and cheetahs are out to get them. Summer time is great, but there's lots of other people out there, with their dogs, and, well, it's just nice to be able to concentrate on our lesson without th' distraction of explaining what we're doing. Fynn must be constantly moving if he wants to pay attention to anything, and of course he looks like he's not paying attention to anything at all. I tell people we're in school, learning about this or that. They see us playing chase with a wagon and a cheetah suit on. You see our dilemma here.
But now th' kids are all back in school, and th' field is our own. We come here twice a day, once in th' morning and once again in the evening. This year me and Beth both felt like Fynn needs to practice his reading and writng. We've come up with a few good ideas to help him, but he gets bored of most of them pretty quickly, and needs something new to keep him interested. We talked with him about improving his reading, and together came up with a plan. We are going to teach Bezzas (bee-zus, his wagon/gazelle) how to read.
So now, when we get to th' gazelle field, th' first thing we do is teach Bezzas a new word. Either me, Fynn, Rowan or Bezzas picks th' new word, and Fynn writes it with chalk on th' bike trail, then helps Bezzas read it. Bezzas reads th' word, usually wrong, and Fynn corrects him and tells him what it really says. It's a brilliant concept that i'm not sure that i would've come up with on my own. Once again, I wonder who is th' teacher here. In this picture Fynn is teaching Bezzas how to spell halloween. (Rowan wrote the O2, he is learning about oxygen.)
The other surprising lesson we've started learning about is degrees and angles. Fynn's favorite thing to do these days is ride his bike up and down hills. Any hill. Every hill. He names each one and we talk about how steep it is. He draws pictures of them. He gets on google earth and finds them and measures them. So we pulled out his old protractor. We got this for him years ago because he's always loved numbers and shapes. He's used it for all kinds of things, but never what it was made for.
Yet, all we had to do was give it to him again and tell him that he could measure the steepness of his hills with it, and he was hooked. Since then we've been riding around measuring the angle of every hill in town, as well as the distance from trough to crest, and what's th' safest speed you can possibly go down it on a bicycle. It's like hanging out on th' job with a surveyor.
I always wonder what are we going to discover next, and there is always something new.