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.)


  1. Leah Twitter: lealooboo says:

    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.
    Leah´s last post… round peg- square hole

  2. 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!
    kate´s last post… banks irritate me

  3. Marita says:

    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.

  4. Lauren @ Hobo Mama Twitter: Hobo_Mama says:

    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!
    Lauren @ Hobo Mama´s last post… September Carnival of Natural Parenting- Too lazy to unschool

  5. 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!


  1. [...] 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) [...]

  2. [...] 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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