After the concert, we decided to take advantage of being in the city and hopped over to Chinatown. Aidan’s been studying about China lately. We’ve be using a “learning box” approach–or, as Aidan likes to call it, a “fun box.” He decided he wanted to learn more about China, so each day he finds inside a little box we designated as his “fun box” a range of activities, projects, learning challenges, and other tidbits on China. One of the cards in his box read “Take a field trip to Chinatown,” and so, while in the neighborhood, this is what we did. We had lunch, popped into a few of the shops, and just explored the area. I think Aidan was having a good time, but it was getting to be a long day. I’m sure we’ll return again soon. In the meantime, we did snap a few pictures. Take a look.
Month: February 2010 (page 1 of 3)
I’m a homeschooling parent. (Lately I’ve taken to calling that life learning, not homeschooling, but that’s another conversation.) When you say you home school (and the like), people take that as kind of criticism of mainstream schooling because, well, at least in my case, it is. There are many problems with the mainstream system, I think. The idea that it is a system in the true sense of the word is part of the problem. But I don’t think that means one should completely separate themselves from those within that system. Sometimes we life learners catch ourselves perpetuating a kind of homeschooling snobbery–most likely as a kind of defense mechanism against the prejudices we sometimes face. Of course, that is not the answer.
One thing that has attracted me to what Eggers is doing is that he’s bringing to public school kids what many life learners and homeschoolers strive for everyday–a real sense community, purpose, and authentic voice. The kids at 826 Valencia Street are really there–doing real and rewarding work, letting their voices be heard, enjoying the respect of adults who are really interested in what they have to say. These kids are participating in what Egger’s refers to as cultivating democracy and enlightened lives through the participation in community (and in the case of 826 Valencia via the primacy of the written word). These values are closely aligned with those of my family as we negotiate this thing called homeschooling and learning with others.