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We now have an added reason for going to Leicestershire to spend time with Martin, he’s building a new house! As I mentioned in a post on how we afford to spend a lot of time travelling, we are building another property to generate capital (by renting it out) to allow us to keep living the dream. This has only been possible after 20+ years of Martin working hard, so we are not in any way wealthy.
And as we like the journey possibly more than the destination, the building work has proved to be a wonderful learning experience for the boys. They are able to see how a house is built from scratch, this coincides with Reuben’s interest in video games like Minecraft and Toca Builders as well as a huge passion for Lego so he can get to build his own virtual houses too.
Another huge perk is the fact that the boys can get to try out the equipment (well, at this stage just to sit in it…) and lay some bricks. This reinforces my ideas that learning and living cannot be separated. Even though the boys don’t go to school we do not do “school at home” in the sense that I don’t plan lessons or follow a curriculum, they do nothing against their will. You may ask, how do they learn anything then? In actual fact they never stop learning, it goes on all the time! From the moment they wake up there is a constant stream of wanting to watch something, play with something or go somewhere, and these things blend into each other, they spark other things, some topics are learnt superficially and others are pursued more.
If they were at school they would miss out on so much that the world has to offer, they wouldn’t see the builders at work and wouldn’t be able to ask them questions and hang out with them. They wouldn’t be able to spend days and weeks learning about sharks or be able to go to the woods when in need of a connection with nature, or in fact be able to jump into the campervan at a drop of a hat. We have learnt about the Norman invasion and the D-day landings by going to Normandy, about how fabric is made from visiting a mill, Reuben is learning to read from using the computer and looking at books he likes. This type of learning is not linear like a school curriculum but I think it’s just as effective, if not more.