Friday, September 17, 2010

a different day

What an amazing, busy day it's been… just had to write about it because … well, you'll see …

…so my son has the beginnings of a cold… and so we had to cancel a trip to buy books & have coffee with some friends this morning, 'cos we needed quiet time to prepare for a crazy afternoon and evening …

so we started the day with reading on the couch, browsing games on the internet, and doing an online drawing "lesson" about shape and form… which led to happy ages being spent doing a still life drawing of our own…

And then the day kind of revved up…

and we scooted to another homeschool house to learn about the Pancreas, of all things, from a doctor friend…

(because, you see, my son and a bunch of lively gorgeous homeschoolers are participating in the First Lego League tournament this year, and the theme is Body Forward…so the kids need to come up with a research project on… well, I was going to try and paraphrase but it's too complicated so here:

Your challenge this season is to explore the cutting-edge world of Biomedical Engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries; overcome illnesses and disabilities; and build healthier, stronger bodies. Once you know how scientists, engineers, and doctors work together to find solutions, do some research. What kinds of problems keep people from leading happy and healthy lives? How could your team help solve one of those problems?

Which I could totally have said, but um, I'm tired!)

so anyway … today my son learned about the pancreas, the digestive system, the bits and pieces that connect to the pancreas, the roles of the pancreas, pancreatic cancer (heavy stuff), auto-immune diseases, infertility, and diabetes.

But wait! That's not all! Because then they brainstormed ideas on improving the health of diabetics …

and all of them sat and learned and listened and talked for two solid hours.

But our day wasn't done, because…

THEN we dashed off for my son's Jazz Combo lesson, where my son played for an hour, drumming his heart out, even though by this time he wasn't feeling so hot…

and THEN it was time for a big end of term concert… where my son played drums with his Concert Band, and … soloed on piano for the first time in his life!!!

this not being a photo of my boy in his concert today but still a photo of him drumming and I like it

At which point, my son didn't jump for joy. He looked mostly like he'd walked into the back of a truck. He was done, and said: Got a headache. Feel bad. Must go home.

But then (and this being the WHOLE point of this blogpost)

… on the drive home, my boy said:

"Hmmm. We didn't do much today."



You for real???


because, as he then put it, "Well, we didn't do any maths, or english, or history, you see."

Which blew me away.

And it was:

totally understandable, because he was feeling suck-ish, and the day had basically flattened into what wasn't and hadn't been… or / and

totally funny because he's our schedule-stickler, routine-maker, book-worker on school days, no matter how much I try to relax him (and believe me, I have tried) …or / and

a little bit sad because maybe 4.5 years of school indoctrinated him …or / and

just completely gorgeous, because he sees the world with such particular eyes, his own eyes, which are the eyes of a dreamer and order-keeper both.

So his view of today was kind of/basically/very different from mine…

and it reminds me, again, that even though I've tried to convince my boy that learning happens as naturally as breathing, he still needs his books and his timetable to steady his days and make them make sense. And though I could tell him (and did) that we've learned all day, he still feels a piece is missing, nonetheless, without his routine.

Which is part of this journey, right? Respecting who our kids are as learners.

Because their days are precious, and their own, always.

And while sometimes you need to help them see beauty where perhaps they might see only sorrow,

no-one should build their days for them,

or tell them at the end, what to remember or how they must see.

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