Real Life Homeschooling — Teaching Through Everyday Conversation

Real Life Homeschool {via www.walkinginhighcotton.net} 5 Days of Summer ReadingReal Life Homeschooling is a monthly blog hop with 20 other blogging mommas that I’m part of. It’s all about the non-traditional face of homeschooling. What it looks like when it doesn’t look like “school-at-home.”

Previously I posted about our love of all things Nature Study, and then some of the ways we packed our family camping trip with learning. Today I’d like to share what some of the learning has looked like around here over the last couple weeks…conversation. If you’re paying attention, there are a million learning moments in your days. It’s just a matter of letting them pass or grabbing hold and digging the most out of them.

How did we learn this week?

1. Possums on the Porch…We trapped a possum by our chicken house and had to relocate him to a tree farm several miles down the road. So we talked about predators and prey; the food chain and natural systems; herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores; and the root of all natural science, which is purposeful Creation. We also had a conversation about ethical “disposal” of predators.

Creepy, right? He hissed and snapped at our dog and I about came out of my skin! {smile}

Creepy, right? He hissed and snapped at our dog and I about came out of my skin! {smile}

2. Soccer Practice and Soccer Games…We discussed pre-game and post game nutrition; physical conditioning and exercise; the difference between strength and stamina; the difference between building up muscles and developing cardio endurance; and how exercise helps our minds focus as well as our bodies. We also talked about how being healthy for soccer has benefits for other activities like improving breathing for playing the flute. (And naturally I threw in how doing their farm chores improves their overall health and makes them stronger for soccer!)

Speedracer warming up before his game on Saturday.

Speedracer warming up before his game on Saturday.

3. Rush Hour Traffic…Sound crazy? Well, in Hampton Roads, traffic doesn’t just mean cars. Around here we have bridges and tunnels which mean boats and ships become part of our regular rush hour traffic jams! Oh yeah, and did I mention the trains. Oh, the trains!

So while we’re stopped we talked about transportation. We talked about traffic and bridge engineering. We talked about ports and shipping operations and international commercial transport routes. We talked about economic development and job creation and fiscal policy…and believe me, they can understand it if you put it in the right terms. Some of it went like this…“Well honey, the people who load the ship up in China get paid. And the people who drive the ship here get paid. And the people who unload the ship at the Ports get paid. And when they unload it they put the containers onto trucks and then the truck drivers get paid to drive it to the stores. All those people need to feed their families just like Momma and Daddy…” There ya go! Economics for a 5-year-old.

From the bridge where we were stopped you can actually see the shipyard where they’re building the new aircraft carrier and the giant blue cranes from the Ports further down the waterfront, so all of this is a natural fit for us. And sometimes if traffic is really bad our alternative route (through a different bridge/tunnel) goes right past the coal plant where the trains coming from the west dump the coal (in huge heaping piles!) and then it’s loaded into containers and onto ships for ocean transport. And of course, this is the James River–where the colonists first traveled to settle the New World…oh the history lessons to be had! Or there are birds to identify, fish and crabs to talk about, and wetlands to see. There’s always something to talk about!

Welcome to rush hour in Hampton Roads!

Welcome to rush hour in Hampton Roads! That’s actually an empty container ship–normally the containers would be stacked three and four high the whole length.

How do you fit teaching into your every day moments? 

Join us if you’ve got a Real Life Homeschooling post to share!


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