We were sitting around the table the other night having Fondue for supper which is a meal that we all enjoy. For those that are not from Quebec, Fondue here has nothing to do with oil, but it is all about broth. It is usually referred to as “Fondue Chinoise” and it is based on Chinese Hot Pot a meal in which various ingredients are dipped into a simmering broth and cooked gently. Besides cheese and chocolate fondue, it is the only meat fondue that people usually eat around here and is a meal that many people eat on a regular basis.
So we were sitting around the table and the kids were being loud and my brain was just not handling it. So I asked if it was possible to have a few minutes of quiet and suddenly it became a game. The kids were competing on who could not talk the longest. I have to admit is was quite enjoyable to have a quiet meal but what was fun was to see the way that the kids came up with to get messages across without talking.
At one point, Xavier got up and went to get a paper to write what he wanted to say. This is a big deal. Xavier just doesn’t write. He has been reading for years but only recently has he started writing and like most things he does, he will only really start doing it once he gets the confidence that he can. But he wrote what he wanted to tell us without a problem. Afterwards he took to going in another room and recording his voice on his tablet and came back and would play it back for us using various voices.
I think Colin found it the easiest not to talk, he just giggled at things and ate and got up and got what he wanted and was just having fun watching everyone else. He wanted to win the game.
But Khéna… Khéna found it the hardest and messed up a few times simply because he forgot what he was doing but would stop himself when he realized. At one point he was trying to tell us something and we just didn’t understand. After a while, he took the piece of paper and the pen that was on the table and I saw him really thinking to himself while he wrote letters down. (Which reminds me, I need to show him how to hold a pen more efficiently) He handed it over and I looked at the letters. KEFH. I remembered him fake coughing when he was trying to tell us something so I picked up right away on what he was trying to write. KEFH was COUGH. He was asking if was OK to cough. Wow. Here is my newly six year old writing down letters phonetically to make a word. He may not be reading or writing yet, but the building blocks are definitely there and once the confidence hits he will have no problem in advancing.
I find it amazing.
Unschooling is amazing.
Reading and Math are the two “subjects” that always come up when people question unschooling. How will a child learn something if they are not actively taught? If you don’t present the subjects to them, how will they even find an interest or start to learn? But here it is… they just do. They learn it because it is part of life and we are living life right now. I can’t explain how it happens which is something that some may find it hard to comprehend, but I just know that it does happen and will happen.
So finally Khéna talked again, then Xavier, and then Colin and we went on and had a great movie night.
I think we need to play the quiet game more often.