Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Capitalism and Freedom

Yesterday morning there was a knock on the front door. I opened it to find Bob, my 74-year-old neighbor, master gardener, retired army war veteran, and neighborhood crotchety old man, standing on the front stoop. I like Bob. He wanted to know if General Mayhem was available to mow his lawn. Bob cannot mow anymore, and he likes to help the General earn money for space camp. I asked the General if he’d rather complete his math or go mow. The sonic boom left in his wake as he flew out the front door was my only reply. He returned an hour later with $45 in his pocket. Bob over pays.

Last night the Boss asked General Mayhem if he was enjoying homeschooling.

“Yeah,” he replied.

“What is the best part?” she inquired.

“Sleeping in.”

He paused for a moment.

“I love earning $45. While other kids are in math class, I’m out earning money. They are counting pretend money while I’m counting real money!”

He still had plenty of time to complete his assignments.


Michelle said...

$45! General Mayhem better watch out or I'll take his job!

Kathleen said...

Chock one homeschool lesson to Real Life Experience. Doesn't get much better than that!

Autumn and Haley said...

For a second after reading the title I thought I was going to read a Glenn Beck show recap ;) (if you haven't watched this week you should)

I'd love to find a young lad who will actually work and pay him to do yard work. Haven's a bit young still to push the mower.

CrossView said...

You better put him in public school PRONTO! You are going to mess that young man up badly by letting him learn a work ethic! He may just start equating hard work with money and other terrible notions.... ;o)

Arby said...

He might "just start equating hard work with money and other terrible notions?" When?! I've been waiting for a year!

Sadie said...

He's so very right. But $45! Wow...make me feel guilty for telling my oldest I'd pay him $5 for mowing one of our yards (front,fenced back, or not fenced back) and he's using an old human powered reel mover....

Anonymous said...

Yes..I am sure that sleeping in and mowing lawns is equal to learning based on a structured lesson plan. Yes, of course it is. Maybe he had plenty of time to complete his "assignments" because they aren't very hard.

The Boss said...

To Anonymous:

I guess it's impossible to think a homeschool family could think to order curriculum with a structured lesson plan, well with us all being backwards, bible thumping, religious zealots who only wish to shield our children from the real world and all.

But since you found the need to put the word "assignments" in quotations, as if somehow we couldn't possibly actually assign homework for our children, I'll address this and leave my tired husband to get some much needed sleep.

Our oldest son, who is 12, completed 6th grade last year. His curriculum was as follows:

A Beka Language Arts C
A Beka Science 6
A Beka Old World History
Spectrum Spelling and Vocabulary
A Beka Reading 6
Memoria Press Christian Studies
A Beka Penmanship (do they actually conduct a full handwriting class in ANY public school in 6th grade in this country?)
Saxon Math 7/6.

If 8 classes aren't enough "assignments" each day to make you feel like he's actually doing much but sitting on his rear end each day in his pjs, he does all his "homework" in time to get to 2 karate classes each week, Boy Scouts, confirmation class, plus be the den leader for his brother's Cub Scout den.

He spends an extra 45 minutes sleeping each morning while the other neighborhood kids stand at the bus stop and sit on a bus. Personally, I think giving him that extra bit of sleep each morning gives him an advantage and helps keep his batteries charged longer during his day. With all the work he does and all his activities, he sure can use it!

And mowing neighborhood lawns is the way he earns the money he needs to pay his half of his space camp each summer. Since next year's camp will be a week, he needs to get a jump on it. And I'm sure the 45 minutes he took from his busy school day to mow the neighbor's lawn ate into what would have been well used in a classroom waiting for the teacher to take roll call, passing in the halls, or waiting for the teacher to discipline another kid.

But the most ironic thing about your comment is that when our son was considering his options of wanting to stay home again this year or returning to our local middle school, one of the reasons he leaned towards school was because academically, it was just so much easier for him and he had a lot less work to do each day.

So please, save the condescension for someone else.

Anonymous said...

Bravo....Bravo. He sounds like quite the smart one your boy..and you are quite proud of your lesson plans I see. I hope he learns how to be humble from you as well.

Anonymous said...

Again...and you won't post it.. I hope he assumes your humbleness.

Arby said...

To Anonymous,
I really don't know what you are referring to with this comment. I am still reading through all of the comments from this weekend. I have been out of town attending a family funeral. Patience, please, as the axis of the universe does not extend out of the top of your head. I will read and respond to all comments, as appropriate, when I can. You might consider identifying yourself and providing an e-mail address if you wish to communicate/discuss directly.