For the Love of Sharks

Sharks, sharks, sharks. His life revolves around them. Shark books at the library, shark documentaries on the television, shark puzzles on the floor, shark toys to play with and shark stuffed animals to sleep with.

Sharks. He lives, eats, and breaths sharks. They’re his favorite topic of both conversation and play, and I would imagine that they feature prominently in his dreams as well. Finding Nemo is his favorite movie because it contains some sharks, and his favorite books area all about sharks.

He can identify perhaps twenty varieties of sharks at a glance and many more with some thought. He knows what many of them eat, how they catch their prey, which are the most dangerous and which are scavengers that live at the bottom of the ocean.

Black Tips are his favorite because they herd fish together before attacking. Makos are his favorite because they’re the fastest. Threshers are his favorite because they wack fish with their tails to stun them before eating. Great Whites are his favorite because they’re dangerous. Wobegongs are his favorite because they’re weird and camouflaged. Greenlands are his favorite because they’re creepy and scary.

For his birthday he received a variety of toys – some Cars 3 LEGO sets, some K’Nex toys, etc. He loves all of them, but his favorites are easily a new Shark encyclopedia and a bucket of shark toys. He just turned four, but his store of knowledge about sharks is vast and ever growing. This isn’t a unique phenomena, as almost every child his age has something that deeply fascinates them. For him, it’s sharks, and perhaps a year after his fascination began it shows no signs of waning and his life continues to revolve around the deadliest predators in the Ocean.

The joy of Unschooling is that this fascination won’t ever have to be subordinated to schooling. He won’t have to put it on the back burner to go to class and learn things that may not interest him at all. Instead, as long as his interest lasts, and I hope it lasts a long time indeed, he can spend his days thinking, dreaming and learning all about the wonderful world of sharks.


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