Monday, June 1, 2015

How Did The Rest Of My Year Go?

Hello, Non-traditional Man Cavers!  

This morning I received a question from a reader who must have been REALLY bored to be reading my inactive blog. Tobybo asked, “So, how did the rest of the year go?” This was in response to my post on neuroplasticity. While publishing her comment I realized that I have not written for the entire school year. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about in nine months. I just haven’t had the time to write it!

We graduated General Mayhem (and not a day too soon)! Senioritis started near the end of his junior year of high school when the young man began his Khan Academy Art History class. I encourage anyone with masochistic inclinations to watch the entire art history program, but if you love yourself or your children, steer clear of this curriculum. Oh, it isn’t all bad. Some of the classic masterpieces are covered in depth, but the eight minute video of a shovel hanging on the wall of an art gallery will make you want to gouge out your eyes.

“Some people will just see a shovel hanging on the wall, Bob,” Judy said in her best golf announcer voice.

“You’re correct, Judy," whispered Bob in reply. "But the smooth lines and graceful curves of the shovel contrast starkly with the barren white wall behind it and speak to the artist’s statement about mankind…blah, blah, blah.” 

All I could think of was what the farmer would be moving with the shovel in the cow shed. 
To say that the lad was uncooperative and uncommunicative throughout the year would be an understatement. It wasn’t until I threatened to kick him out of the home on June first if he had not completed his schoolwork and earned his diploma did he finally discover the motivation to finish his rigorous three course schedule. He graduated with 20 college credits and his high school diploma. Any feelings of parental pride have been washed aside by feelings of sheer gratitude.

I’m back to homeschooling two. 

Now, I’m not certain at which point I left the reality of life with three children and entered the fantasy world where dad gets a break from the drama of the first teenager before the start of the drama of the soon-to-be teenager. I was slapped back into reality when Major Havoc entered a three day period where he slept for thirteen hours each day, ate us out of house and home, outgrew all of his pajama bottoms by a good three inches, and was an emotional basket case. Long division triggered intense crying jags.  The kid is genuinely talented in math, but his two division related mental blocks combined with puberty makes for a volatile mixture. I try to convince him of the necessity to be disciplined in calculating his math problems. My efforts are usually met with deep, heavy sighs and eyes rolls.

"I know that I annoy you when I tell you to be disciplined in writing the formula and following it to calculate the answer, but when you do that you reduce your errors," I told him. 

"Discipline,” the boy replied.  “That's where you take away all the freedom of childhood!" 

We are limping into summer with a few subjects left to complete. I’d rather see him have a few things to work on each day than have weeks on end of absolute freedom. The kids can make it three days without fighting. 

So, how did the rest of the year go? There’s SO much more to tell. I’ll save it for the next few days. There’s the tale of New Dog, the house that’s always being remodeled, more extra-curriculars than there are hours in the day, and of course, The Girl. I have an entire article on The Girl. Little Miss Neuroplasticity has been a never-ending source of head banging frustration, hilarity, and a daily reminder that God hears our prayers and answers them.  

1 comment:

TobyBo said...

wow! you are an overachiever in posting double. Thanks! I appreciate the heads up about the Khan art history course. :)