We be not only Jedi ’round these harrrbors. We be pirates as well!
School has been going not-so-great for the last few sessions. I’ve had multiple headdesk moments trying to get Rhys to remember the sound of the letter "n." (Is it hard? N. Nn. Nnnnn. Nnnnnnno, it’s not freakin’ hard. Pay attention, kid.) Or the sound of the letter "w," or whether the number 26 is pronounced "twenty-six" or "sixty-two."
So today we returned to my original idea for homeschooling… "delight-driven" learning. Exploring the things Rhys finds interesting; expanding his knowledge through feeding his passion for a subject, not through force-feeding him lists of words and facts and short vowel sounds. I’m not sure how we got so far away from that in the first place, and I’m not sure why it’s taken me So Many Experiences for the light to go on.
Anyway… today we read a book about pirates, and Rhys was (as always) very interested in the variations of the Jolly Roger. So we drew our own chalk-on-black-cardstock versions and named our hypothetical ships–his is "The Dark Skeleton," mine is "The Flying Squid." (I’ll take pictures laterrrr.) We looked up the TV schedule and found a couple upcoming shows about pirates to tape. We did some "pirate math" ("If three regular pirates and one pirate captain are captured, and the ransom for each regular pirate is one doubloon and the ransom for the captain is three doubloons, what is the total ransom?"), and Rhys is now thinking of good places to hide (and make a map leading to) his pirate treasure. (Plastic coins from McDonald’s.)
And Rhys wrote a story (transcribed by Mama):
Once there were
four pirates and their names were Fisher, Rhys, Mama and Papa. They
lived in a houseboat in the Caribbean.
One day, they
decided to steal treasure from some other pirates. The other pirates
were half human and half ocean animals, like squid and shark and
dolphin and lobster and crab. They lived in the sea.
Mama and Papa fired kitties out of a slingshot at the other pirates.
The kitties scratched and bit and said “MRRRAOOWW!”
pirates bit the kitties, but the kitties were OK. Fisher, Rhys, Mama
and Papa kept firing kitties until they ran out. Then they fired
whacked the poisonous plants with their tails. Then Fisher, Rhys,
Mama and Papa won the battle and got lots and lots of treasure. They
lived happily ever after.
Well, now it’s time for our laundry-folding lesson. We’ve got to keep the "Dark Skeleton" shipshape, ye know, and there’s only one way all those salty sea-dogs’ T-shirts are going to fit into the sea chests!