I love Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus books/videos! They are so much fun, and they teach us all a lot about science...especially me! But, what I especially like, is Ms. Frizzle's attitude about learning and life. The world is her classroom! She sees life and learning as an adventure! She is upbeat and FUN!
Ben is really into "The Friz" these days. Every library day, we end up bringing home lots of these books and videos. This week, we brought home (among others) "Butterfly and the Bog Beast," a book about butterflies and how they camouflage themselves. I love a lot of the things that Ms. Frizzles says ("Take chances. Make mistakes") but my favorite in this book was,
"Looks can be deceiving. Sometimes what is, isn't. Sometimes what isn't, is."
I think that this really describes our day/life as unschoolers perfectly. To an outsider, it looks like my children spend the day just playing and having fun (which, of course, they are) as they are seen lounging on the sofa reading books, creating new inventions in our art room, playing Webkinz and other games on the computer, playing with friends, traveling to the store or a museum, playing board games.....ETC......BUT, what they are doing, besides just enjoying their lives, is learning! It is a part of everything that we do....naturally!
Today, for example, we had a tournament on Webkinz. Maddie kept careful track of everyone's scores and kinzcash on a piece of paper by the computer......writing! Amelia also wrote several e-mail messages to her friend, Lauren, and posted on her blog.....spelling, writing, grammar, computer skills! Maddie read a Highlights article and learned about a festival in India.....social studies! Ben took many cool pictures using my camera and created several new pieces of art work using recycled containers and magnetic strips.....art, photography! I could continue with this list all day! But, on the other hand, I really don't want to. I really want to get to the point where I don't ever think about our day in terms of school subjects. Real life is not divided into subjects!
The other part of the Ms. Frizzle quote states, "Sometimes what is, isn't." I believe this could be applied to schools. It appears that the students are learning.....and they are, to an extent. But, it is forced learning. And, I don't know about you, but when I am forced to learn something that I am not interested in, I usually forget it quickly! Maddie, on the other hand, is very interested in horses. She has read so many books about them and can tell you so much more than I ever knew about horses! True, authentic learning!
Ben has set up my camera on a delay....self photograph by Ben!