Our School Is Everywhere!

August 9th, 2012 by Dionna | 3 Comments
Posted in Children, Eclectic Learning, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, Preschoolers

  • Email This Post

Some of Kieran’s favorite books are the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. In #18, Buffalo Before Breakfast, the series’ main characters – Jack and Annie – are transported via the Magic Tree House back to the 19th century Great Plains, where they encounter a Lakota community.

They befriend a boy named Black Hawk, and Jack gets the chance to ask him some questions about his tribe’s life on the plains. One of the exchanges between Jack and Black Hawk made me smile:

“What about school?” said Jack. “Don’t you have to go to school?”
“What is school?” Black Hawk said.
“It’s a place where kids go to learn things,” Jack explained.
Black Hawk laughed again.
“There is not only one place to learn,” he said. “In camp we learn to make clothes, tools, and tepees. On the plains we learn to ride and hunt. We look at the sky and learn courage from the eagle.”
Jack wrote:
Lakota school is everywhere.1

Kieran and I stopped to talk about how we have school everywhere too. We brainstormed a few ways that we learn every day (these are his responses):

  • We can learn what penguins eat and where they live when we visit the zoo.
  • At the park we can learn about different trees and how to slide.
  • At the Peace Pavilion I learn how to be a superhero and fight crime.2
  • When mama was pregnant, I learned that when the head was coming out and mama was saying “ow ow ow ow ow,” that she stopped when I rubbed her head.

As Kieran and Papa relax near me right now playing dominoes, I notice how Kieran is learning sequencing, matching, number recognition, taking turns, and new vocabulary words.

Because Kieran is home helping me with a newborn, he is learning to care for a baby, to contribute to a healthy family by helping out more around the house, to respect the needs of others, and to adapt to the changes that life sometimes brings.

In the past few weeks, we’ve had several co-op classes:

  • Kieran has made homemade bread and butter (reading and math – learning how to read a recipe, follow directions, measure);
  • he has learned new games in an outdoor gross motor games class (motor and social skills – learning game rules, taking turns, using motor skills through running, jumping, kicking);
  • he has learned how to make almond milk (science and math – learning how matter changes, how to follow directions);
  • and he has learned how to make vinegar and baking soda volcanoes and rockets (physics and chemistry – learning how matter changes through chemical reactions, how those chemical reactions can affect other objects).

We don’t just “homeschool.”

Our school is everywhere.


This post has been edited from a previous version published at Authentic Parenting.

  1. Buffalo Before Breakfast at 62.
  2. Ok, this response made me laugh, since the Peace Pavilion (a local non-profit children’s center) is all about resolving problems peacefully.

3 Responses to:
"Our School Is Everywhere!"

  1. Vidya Sury   vidyasury

    This reminds me of my own childhood, when children were enrolled in school at the age of 6. Until then, we learned so many things at home and outside. With zero digital (am talking about the 1960s), and nothing else to distracts us besides the meager toys, we were allowed to “help” around the house. And yes, all the subjects were covered, including a bit of management, because my uncles had the habit of writing the day’s expenses in a notebook at the end of the day (we had more love to go around than money). The children always had questions, questions and questions.

    It is so nice to read how Kieran’s learning environment is everywhere. I fondly remember how, Vidur, at the age of three, asked for biscuits by shape. He’d say he wants the “hexagon” (oh, no lisping with that one!) or the “rectangle”.

  2. Melissa   vibreantwanderer

    I just love Kieran’s list of ways he learns naturally – especially the one about rubbing your head :) As Annabelle gets closer to “school age,” I find myself becoming increasingly concerned about how we’ll meet her learning needs, but thanks to Kieran (and you!) I’m reminded that learning is everywhere, all the time.

  3. Andrea | EC Simplified   ECSimplified

    The things that children experienced and learned from are truly the ones that stay with them. Kieran’s reflections on the ways we can learn everyday and everywhere are really amazing and very inspiring!

  • Grab my new badge!

    Visit Code Name: Mama

  • Visit Natural Parents Network
  • Display & participate!

    Visit Code Name: Mama

  • Carnival of Weaning

    Carnival of Weaning