Natural Learning with Mary Anning

Mary Anning

I have lots of observations I’ve wanted to think and write through on my blog, but I’ve been busy training to be a CASA. So far, it’s been intense, but also energizing and inspiring.

I’m posting with a picture Daphne has been gradually drawing in the evenings when she’s not tired enough to go to sleep. We first got interested in Mary Anning when we listened to an episode of the excellent podcast Brains On! about dinosaurs. Mary Anning was one of the most important paleontologists of the 19th century, beginning with the ichthyosaurus she discovered at the age of twelve. Our curiosity piqued, we’ve been reading books about Mary Anning (this one is our favorite) and watching videos about her life. Netta has especially looked for videos that show how Mary Anning was struck by lightning as a baby! In the process, we’ve discussed fossils, dinosaurs, and the discrimination Mary Anning faced as a woman.

I’ve been kind of amazed recently to see how learning flows naturally with only a bit of support from me. After reading and learning about self-directed education and unschooling, I trusted or at least hoped that would be the case, but it’s still surprising to experience it.

Other topics we’ve been passionate about in 2018 so far include komodo dragons – the komodo dragon at our local zoo got a deer leg to eat (swallow whole!) for his birthday – and big numbers, like millions, billions, and gogols.