Friday, November 2, 2012

Fish Like Schooling at Home

Part and parcel of my life is the fact that we homeschool. Although I will occasionally post some tidbit about our homeschooling, some fun thing that we're doing, or some activity that fits with the homesteading/preparedness/Thrivalist lifestyle we've cultivated, mostly I don't mention it - not because it's not relevant or important, but often because the homeschool is just such an integral part of the whole that I simply don't separate it out as this is being a Thrivalist and this is being a homeschooler.

For instance, right now my teen is working on setting up her fish tank. She was gifted a very large tank from a friend, and of course, given that the tank sucks up the electricity, and I fight every day to reduce our usage, I was not in favor of the acquisition ... at first. But, it's a very good learning project for someone who is interested in a potential career in marine biology, and as unschoolers we should be cultivating our daughters' interests ... yada, yada, yada. I wasn't wholly convinced that having a 55 gallon fish tank actually complemented the lifestyle I was trying to cultivate ...

... until I realized that a tank this size would be ideal for learning about hydroponic gardening and enable us to set-up a year round area for growing food.

It's, maybe, a little bit of circular reasoning, and I certainly do not think that the fish tank is, in any way, sustainable, but it is a good learning project, and it will enable us to grow food in a way and in a place that wasn't heretofore available to us. So, the fish tank stays. For the record, I wanted to stock it with tilapia or some other fish we could eat, but I had to nix that goal, as it creeped out my daughter. Sometimes compromise is good.

Having the fish is a very good project for her in other ways. She's learning alot about chemistry and water analysis, different fish breeds, animal habitats, and animal husbandry. She knows more about fish than anyone I've ever met - except the owner of a store that specialized in fish (who informed me that everything I thought I knew about goldfish was wrong - especially that they can live, happily and healthily in a school of three or four fish in 10 gallons of water ... not true. Definitely *not* true).

In the end, I'll have my garden, and she'll have her fish, and it will be a good compromise for all of us.

Here's the other project we're working on for the next month.

We even set-up a writing group to meet at our house once a week through the month. It will be a blast to see what the kids come up with.

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