Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Thought I Was a Tough Homeschooler

I thought I was a tough homeschooler. That was until I spoke with the parent of one my writing students and discovered that she is sending her son to a week-long Boy Scout summer camp with a week’s worth of homeschooling assignments to be completed before he returns home. She decided that two hour’s worth of work each day was good. Wow. This kid has had to work hard fund raising for a year to get the money for a week-long trip to the Rocky Mountains and he’ll spend a portion of that time calculating Pi. I’d rather be eating pie. I shared this information with the General and could see that he suddenly appreciated me more than he ever has in the past. I’m not sending him to space camp in Hutchinson, Kansas, with homeschooling work to complete each evening.

The General is quite the day-dreamer. I just caught him staring out the window with a math test in front of him. The pullets were pecking at the back door. I’m certain they captured his attention. After a few minutes of watching him stare into the back yard, I gently suggested that he stop daydreaming.

“I’m thinking!” he told me, a hint of exasperation in his voice.

I know he’s thinking. The problem is that he isn’t thinking about math!

Our homeschool year has taken a bit of a turn during the last week. General Mayhem has tabled most of his subjects for reading. He has to remain current on his math assignments, but we’ve decided to shelve everything else while he reads the Percy Jackson series of novels. He can finish reading one book in a day. We borrowed book #3 from the library yesterday. We are returning it today for books #4 & #5. It isn’t worth fighting him on this issue. He will be so distracted by his imagination that trying to get him to complete his other subjects with any degree of accuracy before reading each day is an exercise in futility. Once he completes the series he’ll be able to focus on his school work. I like the fact that we have the freedom and flexibility to make these temporary changes. One benefit to his reading is that it has rekindled his interest in writing. He’s been working on an original short story when he isn’t completing his daily math assignment or following Percy’s adventures.

The Boss and I are watching this young man grow into his feet. This is the year that we will buy him three or four new pairs of shoes as he skyrockets towards the six-foot tall mark. The boy spends all of his non-academic time roaming the house in search of something else to eat. It’s really quite frightening. I may need to get a part-time job just to feed him.  But he's a good kid.  I think we'll keep him.


Teacher Mommy said...

Woah. That picture suddenly does NOT match the one at the top. He's like, TEENAGERY and stuff.

Good luck with that.

S.K. said...

Yeah really! I agree with Teacher. I remember the day my second youngest brother answered the phone in this deep bass voice I didn't recognize. He was very annoyed that I wouldn't believe he was himself. Now the youngest is about to hit that mark.... and I'm turning 30..... Wow. Maybe I can help with the shoe budget by sending some of my Sasquatcheous little brothers' castoffs? Lol just kidding. They stink too bad. :D

Anonymous said...

He's cute-fast-becoming-handsome, too. (Must take after his Dad. Although please do not show him bare-chested.)

Rick Riordan lives here and we have 2 1-degree-of-separations with him. He is reading from his next series opener this week - saw the ad in the paper today.

I think the decision to focus on reading/writing over math is a good one, and clearly not possible in the industrialized, assembly-line-like public education system.

Wow. Homework at camp.

TobyBo said...

Huh. Tent-schooling. Never would have thought of that. Though, she could be tougher, 2 hours worth of assignments per day sounds a bit soft to me. Too bad she doesn't think anything else going on there might be educational.

Anya said...

Judging from the picture of him here, it may be time to update the pictures on the top of your blog. *grins* Just a suggestion.

Some Guy said...

A part-time job and maybe some more pullets could help provide food.

Michelle said...

Ah the shoe problem! I've found that if I just cut the toes outta TL's shoes, we don't have to buy as many! lol
Two hours of homework-how very generous of her. Is she carrying it into camp for him?

Brownie said...

I can relate somewhat. I hardly recognize Blondie for all her "blossoming." Also... just don't know where her mind trails....