My son has been very interested in gardening and growing seeds. While poking around in the garden he made a great discovery. Here's his quote. "Mom, I discovered that dirt in the garden turns into mud when it rains and back into dirt if it's in the sun."
Because he wants a successful garden, he's been researching planting each and every different type of seed. He began with apples and learned that apple trees are usually grafted. That led into a research project on grafting. With tomatoes he learned now is a great time to plant them indoors. By reading the pea pod package in German, he learned that they should be planted right now.
What he has learned through his hobby is an example of why I admire the unschooling method of education. He chose to study gardening because he likes to eat and is interested in it. Providing time for him to pursue his interests can be just as valuable or more educational than school time. Although I'm still not ready to take a leap into unschooling, it convinces me beyond a doubt that kids need lots of free time to explore their interests. Encouraging hobbies is a good idea.
Coombe Mill have an annual tradition of raft racing. This wonderful competition encourages young engineers to build their own rafts from recycled materials. By participating the kids learn about perseverance, buoyancy, engineering, and currents while playing outside and having tons of fun. Be sure to watch the race video.
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