Ahhh…one of those weeks. I never wrote any Daily Homeschool Reports because there was so little “schooling” happening, although plenty of education. The craziness continues on Friday, but things will calm down next week. So to make up for it, most of these takes will be homeschool-related.
Monday, of course, there was no school of any kind, just playing around here at home. Tuesday was pretty insane. We started out early, with a two-hour session at a pipe organ, with an organist to introduce M to the instrument to help him discern if lessons are something he’d like to do. I much prefer piano repertoire to organ, but I nonetheless keep pushing the “When you’re 17, playing a wedding or filling in at Sunday Mass will be a more interesting way to make money than bagging groceries” angle.
We popped home for a bit, did the only book-school-writing stuff of the week – mostly math, as I recall. Then it was off to boxing. Then a new zoo class – not a homeschool class, but for kids in general – on night zookeeping. He loved it. This week they took care of the goats. I’m thinking, “Kids on a farm clean up after goats without their parents paying for the privilege,” but that’s okay. He adores animals and all he gets to take care of at home is a snake, who is lazy and undemanding, so this is good for him.
Then basketball practice.
Wednesday was an all-day activity, and today was…
The Alabama Shakespeare Festival (located in Montgomery) brought a touring production of an abridged version of the play up to the Alabama School of Fine Arts. They are performing Friday evening, but did two school performances this week, and we attended on Thursday.
It was a fun production. Set in a jazzy late-40’s/early 50’s world, the plot was slimmed down, but the language wasn’t. A small cast traded off roles, but managed to keep the confusing plot pretty easy to follow. We’d done just a bit of preview beforehand – not as much as I had hoped, but as it turned out, there was really no need.
After the 90-minute performance, the cast gathered on stage to answer questions from the kids, and as usual, it is so heartening to see and hear children and young people enjoy, discuss and draw meaning from Shakespeare – or any challenging work.
Tomorrow is the symphony – some Schubert and Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto.
Many thanks to the wonderful Kris McGregor of KVSS in Omaha and the Discerning Hearts apostolate, who is doing a daily podcast during Lent in which she reads selections from The Power of the Cross. OSV took this book out of print not long after Mike died, unfortunately, but Kris, like many others, has found it to be a valuable resource – I’m very grateful to her for sharing it with listeners during this Lent.
But if the perceived educational advantage of unschooling is one draw for parents, there is often also something else. Many of the parents who decide to home-school want a different lifestyle, one that is not only free of what Holt described as the “factory school” and its perceived shortcomings, but one that rejects all of those 9-to-5 obligations that just make life less fun – and, unschoolers would say, less meaningful.
This is what Jamie MacKenzie felt not long after her son, Noah, was born. She remembers watching other parents in her well-off town of Andover, Mass., rush from activity to activity, event to event, with both kids and grown-ups overbooked and overstressed.
“I just knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do,” she says. “As our parenting journey continued, I realized that a lot of our decisions about our values, our health, just the flow of our life, didn’t fit into a normal Monday-through-Friday routine.”
She decided not to return to her well-paying job in education, and instead began a home business with a flexible schedule, selling essential oils. She also decided to keep Noah, now 7, and then her other two children out of school, even though the local school district is considered one of the best in the area. She says her family mostly leans toward unschooling.
It’s nice to be Catholic and not be bothered by things like this, and in fact, be determined to dig out a metaphor.
Corona…crown. Saints in heaven. Maybe?
It’s not impossible!
Oh, speaking of books, here’s a short interview I did with Pete Socks of the Catholic Book Blogger on JPII’s Biblical Way of the Cross.
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!