Joining a big group of homeschoolers

Hina has been making good friends, and we love to go out with them and learn more from our surroundings. We are lucky to have a homeschooling coop in our community now. Hina has just joined a big group of homeschoolers.

Thanks to the coop, Hina has met new friends, maybe we can call them as classmates, playmates, and so on. Hina learns drama, music, and art.

Surprisingly, Hina enjoys drama class the most so far.

Currently most of coop families are native speakers of English. It’s also a very good opportunity for us to learn their culture, lifestyle, ways of raising children, and of course, English.

Hina speaks English but her parents are not native speakers of English. So I am glad that Hina has an opportunity to meet native speakers from the US, Australia,and New Zealand because I believe that languages shape the way we think to some extent. She can learn new things from them.

She enjoys this big group so much. She was so hungry after the activities. She had a plate called “American Breakfast “ And she said “I am going to tell my American friends that I love their food!”

Learning about traditional culture

“Third culture” might be an issue when we talk with people from the “origin” country. Although it’s a bit narrow-minded to look at people only from their “nationalities”, such expectations are often seen and probably we will also see from now on.

Hina doesn’t mind speaking her native language with an English accent because English is her first language. But it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t value culture of her origin. She is quite interested in learning a history and culture.

She got a traditional dress as a gift from our guest.

She tried dancing with it. She kept asking me to teach how to dance the traditional dance properly. Since I don’t know it and there is a certain way of dancing the traditional dance, I asked a professional to come over to teach her the introduction.

I hope she would enjoy the class and absorb a culture from it.

Curious about the sun

Hina has been thinking about what would happen when the sun exploded. Especially yesterday, she couldn’t stop talking about it.

She read science books, she researched it on the internet, and she also talked to people about it.

It would sound like a random question, but she became curious about it after she read about the space.

Hina had an art class yesterday. But she couldn’t focus on drawing because her curiosity led her to the same topic about the sun.

The art teacher was very patient about it and Hina

Building mutual understanding by traveling

Hina and I have been traveling a lot since early 2019. In 2019, we traveled about 12,000km together.

Through traveling, both Hina and I learned what mutual understanding is.

Mutual understanding really needs experience and practice rather than being taught. When it’s taught, we feel like we “know it.”

However, experiences make us more humble to learn because it teaches us the wisdom of ignorance.

We are going to start the first trip in 2020 today.

Traveling around the world through food

Hina and I have started traveling around the world virtually. We visit restaurants of different nationalities.

Recently we visited France and Russia.

At a French restaurant, Hina tried a croissant and yogurt, which is a typical French breakfast according to some post on the internet.

While we were relaxing, Hina read a book about famous paintings. And a group of French people looked at her with a surprise looking, saying “wonderful!” Some paintings are by French artists.

After we visit a restaurant, we color a book of countries.

We also put stickers on the world map.

We had fried cheese at a Russian restaurant.

Through this activity, both of us became more interested in food, cultures, and societies in the world.

Hina did some research about export and import.

We would like to explore the world more together.

What 10 months can do for a 6-7 year old child

I have taken photos of Hina’s artworks. Thanks to a smartphone, we won’t miss the moment as long as we are with our children, which is a great side of unschooling!

To make it easier to see the changes, I picked up Hina’s drawings of me from February 2019 to December 2019.

I love them all. Hina draws in more details now. Until May, she focused on a feature of my looks. Maybe it’s my curly hair.

She learned how to draw without a teacher. And now she says she wants to improve more and she wants an art teacher.

She started to draw together with an artist once in a while. It inspires her to draw more.

I’m excited about her future artwork.

Trying nonverbal communication

Hina currently speaks English as her first language. English is considered as one of the basic skills in globalization. Knowing English is a privilege that Hina has.

However, if we look into the society more deeply, it’s not always the case. We cannot expect everyone to speak some English. And Hina needs to know it through her experience.

So I let her go shopping and pay by herself in a place where basically nobody speaks English.

In Hanoi, the cashier spoke to Hina in Vietnamese, and Hina guessed what she meant from her actions. Hina got the change successfully, too.

Next time was in the countrysides of Cambodia. I asked Hina to buy a can of cooking gas and to receive the charge, too. Hina said ok but she said she needed to look at the google map although the shop was close. She wanted to know exactly where she could buy it. But the shops there all look like this.

And it makes it harder for foreigners to find what they want. We need to ask them if they have it without words.

Hina came back after around 10 minutes, saying that she couldn’t find a gas shop. There is no gas shop but she needed to ask people without words.

Our challenge continues….