I have said for years that one day I am simply going to take note and format a post here to share with you all what an average day in our household looks like. The whole point of this blogging venture is to share and with so many people I come across that are curious how it is we live this “radical” oh so not normal life, I figured why not!
Just the other day, I had a brief conversation with a co-worker (someone with whom I have not been working long and who is still getting to know me). I was sharing with her my love for musicals and how when I was younger my aspirations were to be on Broadway one day. Her response was that it seems there were so many things I aspired to do and be and yet I was none of those things now. I explained that there were factors in my life that discouraged me but how, now as a mother, it has created in me a passionate advocate for encouraging and supporting my children in following their dreams. She agreed that she could see that about me but then continued to make her case for the importance of “education” . I. of course, (as I have many times already) assured her my children are very well-educated.
She may not be able to see the value in the sort of learning environment to which my children live (and thrive, I might add) but I assured her, all is well. She wouldn’t be the first and she certainly won’t be the last. And that’s okay. We love the natural way we live and by extension, the natural way we learn.
And so here it is, a glimpse into our life, our education . . .
You may see it and you may not but I am proud to share it with you all nonetheless.
Yesterday morning, I woke to find Trystan working on a project. In our household, unless we have somewhere we need to be, we all wake up at different times, when our bodies are ready to. Trystan is the early riser in the house, usually the first of us to get up.
He was making some modifications to a piece/prop he created to go with the costume he is currently working on. To the best of our ability, the kids are given access to whatever it is they need to create whatever it is they choose to create. Trystan has watched many “how-to” tutorials and combined with his creative genius has been able to create many incredible things.
His latest costume he is working on is that of an 18th century plague doctor (with a bit of a steampunk twist). In order to construct the costume, he spent hours poring over historical information on the internet, collecting documention and drawings from the period.
The most notable part of the costume would have to be the mask (constructed entirely from recyclable materials).
Here is what we learned from Trystan:
(over dinner and on our car rides, I might add, where most of the sharing from the kids take place)
Plague doctors (who weren’t actually real doctors but civic servants) wore a beak-like mask (made from stretched leather material) which was filled with aromatic items. The masks were designed to protect them from putrid air, which (according to the miasmatic theory of disease) was seen as the cause of infection. Under their long protective coats they wore leather boots, a hood and hat and protective spectacles over the eyes.
It made sense to Trystan that though they were not certified trained physicians that they still might be equipped with certain treatment options. So he contructed the shoulder belt to hold medicine vials and this intimidating syringe with large needle. The entire piece created from his imaginings out of pvc piping, a wooden skewer and even more items recovered from the recycle bin. THIS is what he was working on when I awoke to find him in the garage.
We think the end result is magnificent.
Livy also spent a lot of her day working on a costume she has completely designed and executed all on her own. Though she did take some time out to work on her latest youtube video she will be featuring on her blog shortly.
After researching a bit on the design and some historical research, Liv set to work on drawing out and then handpainting two separate parts of her costume (I won’t reveal what the finished product is, as I will save that for another feature). She started with transferring her design to a stencil sheet and then cutting out the larger parts of the graphics, something she has never done before.
One of Trystan’s newest re-ignited passions is for fine cuisine. Whenever he decides to do something, he always gives it his everything, goes at it with his all. Which means . . . he doesn’t just decide to cook us dinner, he creates an entire experience. His latest inspiration is Gordon Ramsay. He watches his shows, views his tutorial videos, and reads his articles. It’s not enough to make the meal, he wants to do it right, do it as well as the pros do it. So, on my last shopping trip, I picked up a few extra ingredients, per Trystan’s request and . . .
after making sure all of his tools were in tip-top shape, he set to work preparing us dinner. I assisted with his instruction as Souz-chef and we worked together to create a beautiful potato-crab salad. I also was in charge of steaming the peas but when it came to the main part of the dish (his specialty) . . .
It was all HIM! Wild sockeye salmon, seared to crisp perfection.
And of course even the plating was done with creative precision.
After dinner, the kids went up to their rooms, as they often do for a little down time before bed.
Checking in on them, I walked into Livy;s room to find it empty and then into Trystan’s room to find this . . .
Trystan is a big video game enthusiast. We happen to all be fans of video games, in general. Despite the bad rap they have received in the media (mostly due to violent content that we have found in no way has affected our kids negatively), there are actually many proven and well-known physical benefits of gaming: better brain cognition, quicker responsiveness, hand-eye coordination and better visual acruity, In addition, empathy, decision making and social skills are tested. But is it educational? You bet! One of Trystan’s favorite games is Assassins Creed. He has learned so much from that game: European history, blacksmithing, sword fighting skills, geography, etc. It has inspired other passions in his life, as well.
And apparently his enthusiasm for the game has prompted Livy to want to give it a shot too. I have since caught her playing twice today.
I love moments like this! I am so grateful that my kids have each other!
After a bit of gameplay, the kids retired to their bedrooms where assuredly they did not sleep right away but probably wiled away the hours online on Youtube or skyping/snapchatting with friends. as they usually do. And when their minds and bodies were ready for rest . . . well, you know.
As for the next day . . . who knows. I guess whatever comes naturally will . . . well come naturally!
And in case, you didn’t catch it, here are just some of the many ways, education played a part in this day:
(in the sense that most define the term):
MATH: measurement skills for sewing patterns in both costumes, geometry in execution of both , as well.
HISTORY: Both kids had to research the time periods from which there costumes were worn and received a history lesson just from playing the video game.
SOCIAL STUDIES: working together in our cooking, in their playing of the game.
READING and COMPREHENSION were both used throughout the day.
In addition, the following:
CULINARY SKILLS, FASHION DESIGN, SCIENCE FICTION, MIXED MEDIA PAINTING, ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES, TOOL SAFETY, WITTLING AND CARVING, and WOODWORKING.