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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Moving a creek

Spent Monday hanging out at Rock Creek again, with some friends. After daring each other into the frigid water (mountain creeks just never get that warm) for some swimming, they all went to work stacking rocks up on the small waterfall that feeds the swimming hole. Every one of them, from the oldest to the youngest were hauling rocks, shouting ideas and rearranging rocks. I figured if a ranger came and questioned us, I could use the "we're doing a unit study on water movement, this was part of their assignment" and they'd leave us alone.:)

Something assigned seems to hold more value with this world, rather than spontaneous play, the activity of true value.

But they continued uninhibited, creating a diversion in the center, so the water flowed around it, splitting the stream down the middle. When it was time to leave, the rest of us had the van packed up and everyone ready to go, but couldn't find Jared or John.
I heard the clunk of rock hitting rock over by the actual creek (the swimming hole is several yards away) and sure enough, there were two 12 y.o. heads moving up and down as they diverted the creek into small pools they had created with rocks.
We're going back this afternoon, so they can continue moving the creek.

On Tuesday, we joined the same group of friends to explore Bristol Caverns. They aren't Carlsbad, but still beautiful and enchanting. The stories about Native Americans using the caves to escape settlers during battles, was especially interesting. There were Cherokee skulls and bone fragments found many years ago (before they opened it to the public). At the very base of the cave (180 feet from surface) there is a creek that runs through. It was very still and mystical looking. All the kids exclaimed "Hey, that's where Gollum lives!"
It did look like something from LOTR. I think it would be really amazing to find a chunk of property out in these hills that had caves beneath it. I want to build a cave hideaway!


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