Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Carpenter

We're at the end of our two-week break and Lu has spent the better part of the past week being a carpenter. After building a toy house he surprised us with this coat hanger. He decided to make it for a friend who had her birthday on Tuesday. He went into the workshop at around 7am to start on it. I thought I had plenty of time to drink my coffee slowly while reading mindless nonsense on facebook, and then go take some pictures of the process. But before I knew it, he was varnishing.

On Wednesday he started building a small table, with supports and everything! This time, before I could get a photo, he'd already put three legs on it and then completely dismantled it. I found him and Cha in the workshop, with all the parts spread out on the work table, learning how to make a stronger structure.

We start our homeschool schedule up again on Monday. But something is bugging me. After watching Lu go at it in the workshop - using math in such a real way and starting to learn a real trade - I can't help feeling that letting our schedule take him away from this is, well, stupid. 

Are we seeing a theme here? -
Me finding a million reasons to lessen the school workload and follow a more relaxed or unschooly path, but then not actually having the courage to do it. Why is this so hard for me? 

Did I mention that I come from a long line of hard-core academics? 

You know how people are so proud of being the first in their families to go to school? That's me, but backwards. I'm the first in my family to not go to school. And it's one thing to make that decision for myself, but it's another to decide for Lu. 

I have a very clear memory of the absolute panic of looking at a math problem on a graduation exam and not having a clue as to what I was supposed to do. I don't want him to ever feel that helplessness because of a test, but maybe that's not a good enough reason...
After all, I already know that those tests can't really tell what someone knows. 

So, as a first step, I'm going to combine our spelling, grammar, homophones, and vocabulary lessons into one longer "language arts" lesson three times a week, instead of our current eight times a week setup with the individual classes. I'm going to toss every fourth worksheet, because it's too much repetition. And, I'm not going to make us finish all the math problems all the time. That's probably as much as I can handle for now, but it's something. And, with this post, I'm even adding the tag "thinking about unschooling".

1 comment:

  1. Exactly the same feelings of conflict and trepidation over jumping into homeschooling at our house!