Viral Learning

I was thinking today that our type of homeschooling works a bit like a virus!

Two days ago, Daryl took the kids down to a local lake and they saw carp thrashing about. They made such a scene that the kids were delighted and stayed to watch.

When we got home, we had to look up what was going on. We found out it was spawning, and all about how the females lay their eggs up near the shore and the fish rush to fertilize the eggs and fight with each other to father the most fish.

The kids also noticed fish bodies left on the shore, which led to a discussion of the law in our state and how carp are invasive and should not be returned to the water if caught. This led to more research of the law and our finding out that was changed back in 1981 and why.

All of this led to Victoria developing a love of carp, which led to her decision to do a lapbook on carp, which led to me printing out tons of information and images for her to choose from.

Victoria and I spent the past several hours cutting, pasting, discussing, planning and perfecting her lapbook.

I printed out a fish shape that she chose to fill with an essay on why she likes carp. There’s also a spread about their size, use in fishing, history, the way they’re seen in Asia and used in rituals like Children’s Day, art, how to estimate the weight by a complicated mathematical formula, diet, pictures of the record biggest ones, information on why they’re considered troublesome and more.

We’ve had to add pages 3 times to accommodate all the new stuff she wants to include.

Which brings me back to HSing being like a virus around here.

I love the fact that the kids can happen to catch a glimpse of some thrashing fish and it can lead to learning in 20 different directions!

I love that we can spend an afternoon scrapbooking about an unloved fish that a little girl wants to champion, and by the time we’re done I’ve learned to love them too.

And I really love the fact that homeschooling is a group effort that we can’t contain or plan for — always evolving, mutating, growing and spreading in a dozen directions at once.

Or at least that’s the way I look at. I could be full of carp. 😉

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