I'm currently reading Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert. Her book deeply resonates with my philosophy of education. I homeschool because I wish to give my kids a deep desire for knowledge. Pickert's book is centered around the idea that in order for children to be independent, eager learners, they must be given some freedom to pursue what interests them. Tonight this meant baking in the mud. There is intelligence (and fun) here. Elia alternated wet and dry mud as she formed her dome cake. She learned this technique from pottery class. We talked about the difference between our mud and pottery clay. Hana worked to find the right mixture of water and dirt. She chided Em for filling her cake too full before baking it. "You need space at the top, Em, because it gets bigger in the oven." I documented it with pictures, and I showed that I valued their project by staying close and getting them the materials they needed. Because of Pickert's book, I even smiled as I cleaned the bathroom and threw their muddy clothes into the laundry.