Tuesday, April 02, 2013

stone age fare - or adventures in homeschooling during a lockout

is this what they mean by a stone age diet?
there's a little meme circulating on facebook (tho' i think it originated on reddit) - it asks: what was the coolest thing your parents did for you as a kid?

~ the first thing that leapt to mind was that they didn't baptise me as a baby, thinking that when (if?) i was baptized, it should be something that i chose for myself, because i wanted it and understood what it meant. i did eventually choose to be baptized and join st. andrew's presbyterian church in iowa city. it was at a time when i needed to believe there was something else after we die - i'd lost my favorite uncle and my favorite cat, bob, around the same time and since my uncle was a veterinarian and bobby had suffered horribly with kidney cancer, i needed to believe that they were together in heaven. so i got baptized. now i'm no longer sure about all that, but at the time i made the choice, it was the right one for me.

i've been pondering that question today, as the government and the teachers' union in this country cannot agree and today a lockout of the teachers around the country began. with some reluctance, i told my child that we were going to do a homeschool assignment (do you know how hard it is to find some ideas/curriculum that aren't religious if you google it? shocking, but the stuff of a different post.). she has two friends here and i told them they could pick the topic they wanted to work on and we'd find ways to do a whole range of things - reading, writing, science, cooking, art, history, maybe even math (not my strong suit). i was thinking vikings, but they chose food.

i've decided to have them look at different time periods and the food that was common then. with the prevalence of the paleo diet at the moment, i asked them to research (google) it a bit - what did they really eat in the stone age? what sweeteners did they use? was there loads of meat? were there any grains? what root veggies were available? was there really as much cabbage as in my new paleo cookbook by danish hottie chef thomas rode? i told them they could use google and the cookbook and that they should create a pinterest board with what they learned. i want them to create a presentation about it and then, tomorrow, i want them to cook a paleo meal. they're sixth graders and tho' only 12, are starting to be a bit teenager-agtig (that's that danish suffix that's just better than -ish), so they were a bit reluctant to start with. one of them developed a fever of 39 and i'm not sure how far they got. but they do realize that i'm serious and that this has to end in the kitchen.

next food time period i want them to investigate is the viking era (see, i will get vikings in there). after that, i'm going to have them read the chapter about maple syrup in the little house books and then make a meal ala little house. they say this lockout will last for at least two weeks, maybe longer. but there's no reason not to learn something in the meantime. and hopefully, sabin will eventually look back on it as one of the cool things her parents did for her as a kid.

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i love REI's april fool's joke - adventure kitten gear.


Anonymous said...

There's a really cool series of food related videos on YouTube called 'Supersizers Eat' each covering a different time period from Regency, ancient Rome, WW2 and many other. Fascinating!
And to save you time/effort of finding thema all I amde a playlist:


j. wilson said...

oooh, love that idea. I think you can teach all the needed basics through a common interest. just yesterday the mster and i mockingly but seriously developed a thematic unit using Spongebob (we are aghast at how young some viewers are). There is a middle reader book about a teacher who gets called to the carpet when he decides to teach his science students through potato chips. it's called Leon and the Champion Chip. LOVE it!

DahnStarr said...

We had an interesting conversation over Easter Dinner regarding different foods that were eaten by various generations. On one side of the family, Grandparents ate pickled herring and on the other pickled pigs feet...daughter hasn't had either of them. Another topic..Head Cheese...what the heck is it and why in the world would people want to eat Tripe! On a side note: Daughters Girl Scout troop always had fun making "in the jar butter".

Veronica Roth said...

Oh that's really nice. :) My children, now that they think they are grown up, remember loads of things, like our amateur naturalists displays and journals, their summer journals and traveling, flower press albums etc... I'm sure Sabin will love this time with you, (and out of school) My parents did the same and so did I for my children. I also didn't pierce ears or any other disfiguring things. Then they grew up and started piercing everything in sight! (didn't last long thank god)