"We should go there sometime." says Katie. "I've never been inside a Romanesque church."
Now y'all, I did not sit down and make her memorize styles and time periods of architecture. I didn't give her tests or make her fill out worksheets. You know how she learned this? She did an independent project last month on St. Hedwig (her choice) that needed to include information on the place and time period in which St. Hedwig lived. Well guess what? Poland is apparently chock full of Romanesque churches, or at least the region St. Hedwig was from. Katie remembers because it interested her. She remembers because it all makes sense in the context of history.
She WANTS to know stuff.
Kids really do want to know things, but I'm gonna confess I didn't believe it. For the first two years of homeschooling, I fumbled. I wondered and worried. I pushed too much the things that don't really matter and didn't let them explore enough of what really makes them tick. My kids fumbled because they had forgotten how to be interested in stuff. They waited around a lot for me to tell them what to be interested in. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I'm not a very interesting person, so they eventually had to amble off and finally get to know themselves.
This year, year number three, I feel like we are finally blossoming. My girls are finally getting along with each other in a way I only dreamed was possible and getting to know each other as actual people (the main reason we started this whole thang). They're realizing that knowing stuff for its own sake is fun. Figuring stuff out is enjoyable. And I'm finally learning out how to guide their days without getting in their way. We're seeing the actual fruits of all this craziness and I am so pleased.
Tommy is making a harp. (Wait, I swear this is related!) So he's making this harp and Paul is "helping" him. This evening I went to the workshop to grab something off the dry goods back stock shelf and I heard Tommy say as he puts the strings onto the harp "G. That's right. And then what note comes after G?" Paul: A!
Y'all, I could go on and on about the things I haven't taught my kids. I'd say that the list of things I haven't taught them but that they know is probably 782 times the length of the list of things I have taught them and they managed to remember. Honest. So I'll stop for now. But really. I just...I'm just so at peace right now, man. So at peace.