Spontaneous Learning

I started going to the library again this week, and got some books for Z. One of them is Plant a Little Seed by Bonnie Christensen. I read it to Z, and there was a section that talks about the stages of fruit formation, from how it starts as a flower and then the petals fall off, and then the fruit comes out. Since we had planted a garden this year, this is quite relevant to Z, so as I read it to him, I also recalled our gardens and how it was when we planted the carrot seeds, and how we saw the shoots and then how it keeps growing everyday, and most importantly, Who makes it grow.

With Z, whenever something hooks his mind, he grows quiet and reflective. He’s not the type to jump up and down with excitement in the discovery of learning. He seems to swallow it gradually and you can see it in his expression and eyes. At times, when I introduce a topic to him, I would give him some time to digest it. I notice that after a few days, he would come back to it on his own, as if he’s been thinking about it, and he himself would bring it up to me out of the blue. Then I would respond with ‘continued’ ‘teaching’, as much as he can take in.

With this, a spontaneous science session ensued. I started googling fruit formation on youtube and found this:

He’s hooked. And seems to understand what it’s talking about. Later on, I took him outside and showed him our plants, particularly my Poblano and Thai Chilli plants which are flowering and fruiting. He didn’t say much about this, but I’m hoping that his quiet style of digesting information is still in the works.

one okra coming out




cherry tomatoes, still green


ripe ready for picking


the poblano emerging, surrounded by dying flower petals



the Thai Chilli


you can see some of the carrot top above ground. We still haven’t pulled them out yet though. I have a feeling a lot are tiny because we planted a lot of seeds in one pot. This is the first time we ever planted carrots though…inspired from the book Carrot Seed from the library that Z read.


Amazingly, some mushrooms grew in one of the pots where we had carrots growing. I had noticed some white powdery stuff on the soil in the pot and weeks later, we noticed this.









While he was playing with google map, he landed on Aldabra Islands. I happened to come to him at the computer and saw the islands as he was zooming out, and subhanallah, I was amazed! I asked him to zoom back in for me, and I called the kids to see the island. As I kept on googling, I learned that it’s an atoll. I started youtubing it and found this, for Z.

and then we ended up here: We even recognized the Brain Coral in this video!

and then here:

A while ago, we had read this book Coral Reefs by Jason Chin. It was one of those books he is hooked on and likes to read again and again. He loved reading this book so much that I ended up drawing the Red Grouper fish and the gobies for him to color. I drew it, scanned it and printed it for him. We focused on the fact that the gobies have a symbiotic relationship with the grouper in that the gobies would clean the grouper’s mouth and scales by eating whatever it was that was on the grouper. So when we saw the grouper and the gobies in the youtube video above, it was an exhilirating moment for me, maybe more than it was for him! I was over excited. But, it reinforced the information for him, and this kind of learning is one I love! So alhamdulillah!

He ended up watching youtube videos of coral reefs, and eventually I had to go take my nap. I offered if he wanted to watch the Planet Earth DVDs we had bought from a garage sale and that was when things turned downhill. I told my older son to get the DVD for him and put it on, but as H got to the computer, he got on Berenstain Bears on Youtube. Then a battle between them ensued, and me too, and subhanallah, I just took my nap and Z’s session on coral reef and nature on video ended just like that, with Berenstain Bears.

Sometimes, it’s hard. You have older kids who exasperate you, who sometimes help you, but most of the time just maybe exasperate you like in this incident. Then you have a younger child who want to learn or whose heart is still pure, but you’re exhausted and need your rest, and this happens. Subhanallah….reflecting back, I have to say it was easier when they were all younger and their hearts were purer. My older kids are not bad, but sometimes, you do notice that difference between the inclination of the hearts at certain ages. You can’t help but notice it. And it scares you, and it makes you feel wistful at them growing up. I have to say I feel maybe more apprehension at them growing older. They’re entering the more dangerous territory now, and I feel helpless as a mother. I miss those years when they were younger and more innocent. I wish I could turn time back.

Sure, I still have Z, but even with him, as you can see from above, sometimes, it’s hard, because I still have the older kids to tend to and deal with, and my own older and growing older self to take care of. Subhanallah.

Categories: Animals, Books, Gardening, Homeschooling, Reading, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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