Blog #20 oh the places we go

November 4, 2014

“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won……” This week my kids decided they wanted to sign up for the National Geography Bee for homeschoolers in our county. They posed a question to me, “hey Mom, if we sign up for this, can it count as our geography class?” This struck me as funny seeing as we aren’t really doing classes per se. Then I realized that they were traditionally schooled for years. They love their new alternative schooling. They, however, are still working through what school means--specific classes, checked off boxes, textbooks--and how to do those things differently. So, I answered, “for sure, how fun,” but inside I panicked for a moment. I have bright kids, but geography is not a specialty of either one of them. Not to mention the bazillion random questions they ask at a Bee. That is when I realized, I am also still working through the process of our “new” way of school, and of life. My first instinct was to pull up a question answer sheet from the website and start drilling information into them. Thank goodness as I was typing in the website, I came to my senses and remembered a game I had in the closet. The National Geography Bee board game. We have never played this game, so we gave it a go. It was hilarious. They have true and false question, elimination questions, tourist mistake cards and 100s of random questions. We had so much fun learning, guessing and planning trips to weird places we never knew existed. To my surprise, they knew lots and used their knowledge from other places to make educated guesses. Arianna has read years of Zoobooks Magazine, so she was able to answer so many questions that involved animals. Matthew and Dad love playing Risk, so he knew lots from that connection. And there is always life, and trips, and fact on postcards they received that have accumulated in those little brains. Yes, there were tons of facts we got wrong, but we had fun, and that is the point even of the National Bee. At least for me, if they enjoy the process as they compete at a National Bee, all I can say is, “You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 ¾ percent guaranteed).”