Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Extra, extra, extra.

I once heard someone describe unschooling as, "saying yes as often as possible." I love this. It goes along with our homeschooling philosophy perfectly. Okay, we don't really have a homeschooling philosophy. If anything, we have an unphilosophy.

{totally unimpressed with the term unschooling, btw...}

Basically I believe learning happens. In classes, sure, but also ALL THE TIME. We learn from books, movies, friends, strangers, conversations, music, observations, nature, art, experiences, each other, ourselves, oh, and don't forget the granddaddy of information overload: The Internet.

The more I say yes to all of that, the more we learn. Sometimes it's a matter of letting my kids do what they want (i.e. me saying yes to them) and other times I drag them into things I have said yes to on their behalf.

The latter was the case yesterday. Neither of my children have ever expressed an interest in film making, acting, set design or anything else movie related (I'm pretty sure they think the characters in movies are actually just like that in real life) but that didn't stop me from saying, "Yes, of course we will be extras in your movie I know absolutely nothing about!"

{still know nothing, btw...}

I mean, the basics of film making might seem like sort of a random thing to learn if you're not actively pursuing a career in the movies or television but it's no different than taking algebra if you're not one of the few people in the world who is actually going to use it.

And besides, as I told Liam when he asked why we were standing around at night getting rained on and being quiet for no good reason, sometimes we do things simply for the experience.

"Okaaaay. So, now that we've experienced it, can we please go home?"

{probably telling his brother how crazy I am...}

I almost convinced myself that saying yes means saying yes so if he wants to go home we should probably do it. For consistency, you know? But I knew that was just the cold, wet, reasonable side of me talking so I told him to just hold his horses, we'd be done soon enough.

Meanwhile, I was freezing and wondering when the heck I was going to learn that there's nothing wrong with asking a few questions before jumping into something. Like yes with clarifications.

When we were finally released (after pretending to walk from here to there a handful of times), we practically skipped to the car. On the way Liam said, "You know, the end of that was way more fun than the beginning." I assumed he meant because at the beginning we were just waiting around and at the end we were actually acting (or, you know, extra-ing) but that wasn't it at all.

He didn't like a single part of the movie making ("they say quiet on the set and then action and then like a second later they say cut. it's crazy!") but toward the end he started to make his own fun. Instead of whining and asking when we could go home, he came out of his shell, realized the kids we'd been hanging out with all night were actually pretty great, and used his prop flashlight for a pretend light saber battle.  

And just like that I was glad I said yes. Because learning that you can't always control your circumstances but you can always control yourself is a HUGE lesson. Way more useful than Algebra or film making, don't you think? 

No comments: