Another month, another homeschooling fair. This time the topic was history, and Sunburst was all fired up to present on her favorite obsession of all time: pioneers.
Sunburst lives and breathes Mary and Laura Ingalls. She has been taken in by the Little House books for more than half of her short life, and now that she's reading independently and fluently, each progressive book in the series accompanies her wherever she goes. Her life and interests have been shaped by these books, and really, that's not such a bad thing.
Two hours after we arrived home from our trip to Michigan, Sunburst was slated to present. She put on her pioneer girl costume, grabbed her knitting, spinning, and embroidery projects, gathered up her prized collection of McGuffey Readers, and headed out the door. She wasn't entirely prepared to speak about the subject in a fluid, flawless manner, she's only 7 afterall, but she did manage to say a few words, show off her handcrafts and give an impromptu spinning demonstration.
I love that this pioneer theme parallels Waldorf education and unschooling in many ways. It's real life work, connecting first to her heart and then expanding out through her hands into concrete, meaningful creations. And she's engaged, cognitively. She learned to read using the same type of books that Mary and Laura would have used, McGuffey readers from the late 1700's. It was her idea, her passion, and completely self-directed.
Homeschooling doesn't get any better than that.