Friday, January 7, 2011

Just Another Day of Homeschooling - Sort Of...

This week was our first week back doing official "school" after the holidays. I knew that it would be an easy week, since we were just getting back in the swing of things. For the first four days, we finished up our Constitution Celebration unit that we abandoned when the holidays arrived. But today, I had planned for NO SCHOOL! That is one good thing about homeschooling: you can deem it a home ec day if you need to!

Well, I should have known that, even though we were having no structured school today, it didn't mean we wouldn't be learning something. And sure enough...

While we were eating lunch, Little Man asked me, "Are you a vegetarian?" "No," I told him. "I'm what they call a peskatarian. I eat fish and a little chicken, so I'm not exactly a vegetarian." "You're a WHAT?"

So that got us talking about the differences in a vegetarian, a vegan, and a peskatarian. A vegetarian eats no meat, but will eat the by-products of animals - like eggs, cheese, and milk. A vegan, on the other hand, won't eat meat OR any of the by-products of animals. They have milk substitutes, meat substitutes, cheese substitutes - nothing that I really think tastes good, but that's just my opinion. And then you have a peskatarian. A peskatarian will eat fish and chicken occasionally, but mostly leans towards a plant and grain diet. I, personally, avoid all red meat, because it gives me a terrible stomach ache, and I really don't care for the taste of smell of it. So there you have all the differences. Now you know.

For some reason, we started talking about shrimp, and how, as a peskatarian, I still LOVE to eat them! Britches started talking about "that nasty black line on the back of the shrimp", and how she usually tries to get rid of that before she eats it. I told her I do the same thing, because, well, you know what that is. She looked at me kind of funny, and then, she and Little Man, at the same time, said, "GROSS!! You mean that's POOP?! Oh that is NASTY!"

Well, to be honest, I really didn't KNOW for a fact that the nasty black line down the back of a shrimp was poop. I just knew it was called  the vein and that you were supposed to take it out. So, off we went to my trusty computer to look up a diagram of a shrimp and see if we could figure anything out.

The diagram that we looked at really didn't show us much, except that the tail was really the different abdominal segments. So we looked a little further. I went to the Straight Dope website, who say they have been "fighting ignorance since 1973." I knew this was the place to find the answer to our poop question. Check out what they have to say about a "shrimp vein."

Needless to say, we learned that a "shrimp vein" is actually the shrimps intestines, and the "black stuff" is the contents thereof. When I read that to the kids, Britches said, "What's an intestine?" Little Man and I both looked at her funny, and Little Man proceeded to tell her that your intestines are what pushes the poop out of you. (See, all those human body lessons we did last year have paid off!) She was completely grossed out!

After much research on the topic of shrimp poop, we have concluded that the best thing to do, aside from never eating shrimp (which isn't really an option), is to take out the shrimp intestines before ingesting. I mean, who really wants to eat sand, decayed vegetation and decomposing bits of dead animal, I would just like to know.

So there you have it. Our day of no school really turned out to be quite educational. It always does. That is the beauty of homeschooling. Life is school and school is life. You can never get away from learning when you are spending all your days with your children. And I'll bet they don't teach THAT in a textbook!


  1. Sounds like an awesome day Nicole! Would you believe that D asked me about Vegetarians today too?

  2. I loved this blog post. LOL I agree, always devein! LOL

  3. So cute, Nicole. I too prefer fish and chicken (and turkey) above all else. I can eat an occasional steak or hamburger but rarely crave it. I only eat pork if that's all that's offered. Our pastor preached a while ago about the Old Testament laws against eating animals that "clean up the mess" on land and sea. That included shrimp, pigs, catfish, etc. It really opens your eyes to know that "cadaverines" (not scientific name obviously) are still in those animals after we cook them. Sounds like a fun day of school!


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