Horse Boy Learning revolves around the principle of follow the child. You have to be flexible in your agenda, allow the student the freedom to find their own learning opportunities, and keep your eyes open for ones you see that they might have missed. Fynn is a mover, most of his "ah ha" moments come while running or riding his bike, it used to be swinging and bouncing. We drop bits of information all over the place. If he takes an interest we pick it up together and move on to the do it phase. If not we leave it alone and keep going. Our homeschooling styles have evolved over the seven years we've been at it, and this is where we are at now. It works for us. As Fynn grows and changes i'm sure we and our homeschool methods will too, but the basic principles of "drop it do it confirm it" and Follow the child work in any situation. Here's a typical day. 
 
"Fynn, what do you want to do today?" 
This is how most of our days start. But he'd been planning this one for a while now. 
"I want to make a planet model all the way to Sedna."
 
So we said OK and geared up to go with him to Sedna, the furthest known dwarf planet, at the edge of the Kuiper belt. He'd only recently started riding a bike, and he's still using training wheels, but we've been riding farther and farther, and i had a hunch he could make this trip, though it would take us most of a day. He's seven and rarely runs out of energy. We packed some snacks and Rowan helped air up the tires and off we went.
 
Sedna is far away. Like, really far. If you made a scale model where one foot equals a million miles in space, Sedna would be about sixteen miles from the sun, which would be the size of a bowling ball. We didn't go that far, but we did go a long way, about ten miles in all- Fynn's longest bike ride yet.
 
We all had a great time riding and then stopping at every planet so Fynn could get off his bike and draw them on the ground with chalk.  
 
A Praying Mantis caught Beth, and didn't want to let her go. Which was really cool because we've been watching Kung Fu Panda a lot lately. Fynn started eating soup, his most detested food, because of Kung Fu Panda. Never underestimate the power of television. We Stopped at a park for snacks, and basically just rode and rode and rode. Fynn did really well at staying on the right side of the bike trail, which took some effort and focus for him. He can concentrate when he's moving, and we can have conversations. Most of our conversations are him asking me questions he already knows the answer to, or him telling me to watch what he's doing. But when we're riding, or running, or bouncing or swinging, we talk about all kinds of things. I'll ride to Sedna and back for that.
 
 
After riding for a while we found a Silver Buffalo Berry Bush. (Sheperdia Canadensis) We were all hot and tired and this was a welcome treat. A wild berry that can't be bought in stores, you only have two weeks a year to harvest and eat them, so we took the chance to stop and enjoy this delicacy. As we were picking the kids asked why they were called buffalo berries. They asked if buffalo eat them. Curiosity is the beginning of knowledge. I said we'll have to look that up when we get home. We filled up on berries and then continued on our way.
 
After crossing a few streets and riding through vast open spaces we made it to Sedna. We all felt a sense of accomplishment at having come this far. And since the river was right there we went for a swim to cool off and relax a bit. We played in the sand. Skipped rocks. Looked at fish and crawfish.
 
On the way home we saw a beautiful bull snake. We shooed it off the trail so it wouldn't get run over. Fynn told some people who'd stopped to watch everything he knew about snakes. We stopped for lunch at Wendy's, and rode home through down town. Down town is not exactly a kid friendly place to ride, and we're really proud of how well Fynn did getting through there. We all got sunburnt and exhausted. We drank a lot of tea. We did a lot of math. We talked about bugs and snakes and floods and buffalo. The kids ate buffalo berries for the rest of the day and then Fynn got on his computer and typed in "how fast can buffalo run".  Apparently they can run forty miles an hour. We watched a few videos of buffalo running and then the kids turned into buffalo and ran around the yard until it was dark. It was a good day.
 
We've always been interested in Native America. My dad, Fynn's grandpa, is Native American, though Fynn's never met him and I haven't seen him since I was two. Fynn and Rowan have not yet shown much interest though. But now, because of these berries, they've become fascinated with the buffalo, and that can only lead to Native America.
 
The next morning we watched videos of buffalo on youtube and talked about how the buffalo used to cover this area. About how a lady who lived here a hundred years ago said it took a herd eight hours to pass her house, and how some of the settlers killed almost all of them to starve out the indians. About how the indians that lived around here lived with and loved the buffalo, and how they took care of each other. We talked about all this while eating buffalo berries.

We make planet models everyday, sometimes big sometimes small, some going here some going there. Fynn knows planets so well now that they've simply become a vehicle for other knowledge. In this case we learned about buffalo and Native America- ie, American history. What's that old saying about doing the same thing and expecting different results? We must be crazy.
 
 
 

The Long Ride Home

The long awaited sequel of the Horse Boy.

 

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