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Who taught that kid ‘exoskeleton’?

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: We’re all home schoolers

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how their children learn at home as a natural part of their day. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


We have been homeschoolers for nine years now. That is longer than most people I know.  It is a wonderful way to raise a family and my children learn at home every single day.  We try to have “school” time for a few hours every day. This started, obviously, with Hannah and then last year we started Patrick.  Because she sees her brother and sister Willow wants to sit at the table too.  She gets so excited- “School time! I want to do school too!”  Usually, Hannah keeps the baby occupied and I work with the littles- and Willow is already starting to read.  We use brainpop.com, starfall.com and workbooks.  We paint and color and read together.  When Cooper goes down for his nap, the littles go play and Hannah and I go over her work for the day.

I try to keep some structure to the day- but the cool thing about homeschooling is that the kids don’t HAVE to sit at the table to learn.  We sometimes have classes and fieldtrips, and I’m so grateful for the cooler weather because we can spend more time out of doors. We often go for walks together- but also we learn at the grocery store, in the post office, and even while we cook.  My kids love watching the birds and insects that we find in our yard or on the bike path.  I love how fearless they are.  Hannah will find a bit of fur or bone or snakeskin and the kids think that is just fascinating.  Hannah has gotten very good at googling the creatures she finds and even Patrick and Willow are disturbingly good at navigating the internet and have been at it for years.

I love that they can spend time learning about what interests them, and that even when they aren’t doing “school” they absorb SO much.  There are two great examples of this:  The first- Willow adores Sailor Moon.  She dances along to the theme music and has learned to sing it in Japanese.  One day, the huz and I were hanging out in the living room and Willow came running in, grabbed a plain black video cassette and ran back into the computer room.

“What are you doing Will?” The huz called to her.

“Nothing…” She tossed the word over her shoulder from the next room.

The huz and I shared a troubled look and went to investigate.  Our three year old daughter had brought up the internet and used the search history to get onto youtube.  She had copied the letters on the video (plain black video with a small white label) to correctly type “Sailor Moon” into the search bar.  And was busy dancing and singing along to her favorite videos.  We later realized that she had also bookmarked several of her favorite youtube videos.  All this from a three year old girl who can’t figure out what shoes go on the right feet- but learns so much just from watching her brother and sister.

The second example: I remember one day when Hannah was in the backyard with a friend- she was about seven- and they were arguing about fossils and whether there were bugs during the time of dinosaurs.

Friend: “There weren’t any bugs! There aren’t any fossils- Just old bones!”

Hannah: “Of course there are fossils! I’ve seen a couple on the discovery channel.”

Friend: “Well then why aren’t there LOTS of them?”

Hannah: “Maybe their exoskeletons disintegrate.”

And I sat there, weeding my garden patch, in awe of my seven year old girl.  But I couldn’t help thinking “Who taught that kid ‘exoskeleton’?”

I am continuously astounded at the things my kids can tell me about the world around them.  They learn all the time.  Children are like little sponges- they absorb everything.  You would be amazed at what they learn if you give them the space and time to figure stuff out on their own.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated September 14 with all the carnival links.)

26 Responses to Who taught that kid ‘exoskeleton’?

  1. Lovely :) My daughter’s soon three as well, and she’s a sponge when it comes to knowledge. Glad to see I’m not the only one with a toddler on YouTube :) This one likes Pocoyo and Hello Kitty though. Maybe I should look up Sailor Moon :)

  2. OK, HAD to comment. I was so touched by this. I just have to say that I am the only one of my circle that plans to homeschool (once my son is old enough) and all the reasons you stated are why I want to. But many of my friends say I’m crazy because I’ll “need time away from them.” It disgusts me how public school has become basically free babysitting. My friends’/family members’ kids get out early at least once a week, some barely read (even at 6-7-8-even 9!), none have any clue about history.

    Our public school system here in California is a JOKE. I’s basically 8 hours (or 4 Every Tuesday! *eyeroll*) of babysitting and half-assed “teaching.” There are some GREAT teachers, but they are spread too thin and they are forced to teach to 30-sometimes over 40- at once! And they are not supplied with enough books or ANY tools (they have to pay out of their crappy salary). And now it’s ALL about tests. They are all judged on how well they can teach to a test. It’s just…insulting. And I don’t want any part of it, if I can help it. And frankly I think (heck, I KNOW) I can do better in less than half the time. EIGHT hours- and yet the kids often aren’t ABSORBING anything. Just memorizing and regurgitating onto a test- then they forget it because they often haven’t LEARNED anything.

    Another thing is how when I tell my friends/family I want to homeschool they automatically assume it because I want to protect him from “scary” stuff at public school. LMAO! No way! I will be blatantly honest with my kids. My kids will see rated R films. Well, within reason- I don’t want them to see anything horrible like violent slaughters or something 😛 but fantastical violence, something not vicious is not harmful IMO. And “swearing” isn’t going to be a big deal either. Also, sex presented in film/TV as an adult situation and where it is loving is perfectly welcome. In fact, I will be teaching my son (and any future kids) all about sex ed WAY earlier than they do in school. And I’m not going to instill FEAR of it in him. And I won’t be denying the existence of birth control/safe sex either. This is how my parents raised me and I was neither scared of sex nor did I treat it casually. And all the rated-R violence I saw hasn’t made me some kind of anti-social maniac either.

    And it’s because my parents didn’t sugar-coat stuff. They didn’t lie to me about life- the good or bad. They spoke to me like I was an intelligent human being and answered EVERY question I had about ANYTHING. I did go to public school, but my parents did homeschool stuff during summer and I have to say I learned WAY more in those summers than I did all year.

    I want to make sure my kid SEES LIFE, LIVES it, actually has some understanding of it- and he’s not going to do that stuck in a stuffy room for 8 hrs with an exhausted teacher who doesn’t know his name from “that other kid”, and where sex “ed” is basically a Sunday school lesson, and where he is taught what he learns doesn’t matter- as long as he can memorize stuff and then pass a test. It’s a HUGE waste of time except when you get the rare gifted teacher- but why chance it? Why not do it yourself the 1st time and get it done right? Which you certainly keep proving here over and over with these stories 😀

    So thank you for this. When I see such wonderful stories like this it makes me more confidant that it is the right decision for us too.

  3. This is such a great post, and really encouraging. I have been toying with the idea of homeschooling my daughter (now 11 months) for ages now simply because she’s such a quick learner and I’d hate for her to be as bored in school as I was! I find it so wonderful to read positive posts about homeschooling.

    P.S. Your comment area is beautiful!

      • I too was always bored. I had a friend tell me recently, “they learn more in daycare/school than they do at home.” Well, maybe that’s their experience but it wasn’t mine. At all LOL.

  4. exo what? 😉 just kidding
    great post, and so true about the sponge thing
    Love how your blog is turning out… very you (although I don’t really know you, very strange) Absolutely love the breastfeeding drawing on the top… well I pretty much love everything

  5. That’s happened with Kieran, and he’s only 2.5 yrs old! It does help soothe some of the worries I have had about how we will homeschool – wondering how I will “teach” him things that I’m not as familiar with. It helps to know he is so much more capable of learning than what many “educators” give kids credit for.

    • Now that Hannah is older (“8th” grade this year) I find there is a lot of stuff I’ve either forgotten, or never learned- and it is kind of cool because I learn right along with her. It works out just fine!


  6. What you said about kids being sponges is so true. My little one is still very young, but I know we all learn by watching those around us and by indulging our curiosities and being willing to ask questions–especially of Google. Great post!

  7. It makes me so happy when I hear things like this from my kids. 90% of the things I teach him go in one ear and out the other, but the real life in the moment stuff it what sticks. I am always surprised by what they remember and picked up on their own!


  8. It’s amazing how much kids can learn when given the opportunity to learn what they love! My stupidly talented, internet famous brother is a good example.

  9. very cool story. I especially like the one about willow finding her sailor moon videos on youtube. Kids are so smart. Im so proud of you and your family!

  10. It is impressive how much our children learn from the world around them. My girls both love Sailor Moon too :-) I remember being stunned that my then 3yo Annie knew how to navigate google to find her fav kids tv program.

  11. That is too awesome! I love that your daughter figured out how to type a search into youtube. What a smartypants!

    It really is so fun to see how they soak up knowledge. I had a conversation with my son a couple weeks ago and thought he totally spaced out on me. Then just today, he brought it up again. He’d been thinking it out in his head that whole time. I was really moved and it reminded me to keep talking about tougher subjects and with bigger vocabulary than I think he’s “ready” for, because he’ll become ready at his own pace through challenges just like that.

    Thanks for this post!

  12. Wow! Great inspiration! I’m a WAHM, homeschooling, under $2 a meal planning, breastfeeding (to a 2.5 year old!), co-sleeping, kitchen witchy Momma myself. Thank you for mention the links. I’m going to love exploring starfall.com We’re in the beginning reading stages with the 5 y.o. and she loves her computer time. Thanks again!

  13. […] Who taught that kid ‘exoskeleton’? — Nervous about how you will facilitate learning at home? Don’t be – they will absorb things on their own! Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma shares her story. (@kitchenwitch) […]

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