We took the day off today. After all, a neighboring school district had a “records day,” whatever that is, so we got together with friends on their free day instead of doing work as planned. I feel some amount of guilt when we take a day off like this, and I’m loathe to admit to my non-homeschooling friends our spur-of-the-moment vacation days. I guess I’m afraid it reflect poorly on my competence or whatever. Ah well.
We kicked off the day with Tang Soo Do class (no pun intended). Forms and sparring were on the schedule, and I hoped for forms, but sparring was the order of the hour. The boys and I really don’t care for sparring. Okay, we hate it. We despise the tight headgear and hot foot protection and gloves. My older and I resent being kicked and hit. Over and over. We’re not into pain. At one point during my disintegrating marriage, I found sparring cathartic, but now I just find it hot, uncomfortable, and often painful. Oh, I enjoy getting in a point (a strike above the belt to the front of the uniform or to the head), but the whole process unnerves me despite being taught as a defensive art. Whatever. I’m just not a fan. Today we almost enjoyed the class, meaning my older didn’t whine much and no one came away with a limp or bloody nose. Good show. We even had a bit of fun. Huh.
A visit from our off-school friends followed. No fighting children, much laughing, a rather loud impromptu quiz on geography and the elements during lunch, and a restorative time with the mom of the children made for a delightful and wholly satisfying visit. My younger, who requested the company’s presence, was appropriate (mostly) with his friends. Aside from being rather loud at lunch while relentlessly quizzing us on capitals, he was really quite engaged with his buddies. That’s reassuring to me and made for a pleasant mid-day for all.
My younger enjoyed his piano lesson (days off only stretch to our home activities) and made some progress. He’s working on a piece for American Guild of Music competition, and while it’s in decent shape, he still has work to go. As with older son at the same age, dynamics elude him, or at least the application of dynamics to invoke mood. He’s only eight, and I’ve gathered this is common for boys his age, and if my older is any indication, it will becomes easier with time. Both boys memorize music easily, but they also both resist using the music after they’ve memorized the notes, so they miss the dynamic notations that they find harder to internalize. Back to the music, he’s told.
My older took off for rocket club in early afternoon. He’s in a rocket club consisting of six homeschoolers led by a father of two of the boys. They’ll compete in the Team America Rocketry Challenge in the latter part of March, and the last few weeks, have launched several days a week. The aim is to design and build a rocket weighing 1 kg or less and launch a payload of a fresh egg 825 feet into the air, safely bringing the payload back to earth all in 40 to 45 seconds. TARC places specifications on motors, altimeter use, and streamers. While they built and tested the rocket at the end of last year, only in the last few weeks have test flights resumed. They’re headed in the right direction, but their rocket suffered a mid-flight explosion last week (O-ring was missing. Oops.), and they lost part of the rocket on high power lines today. I assume my older is following along and learning. At least, he’s sounding more knowledgable to me. Rocketry is certainly out of my domain!
We took at day off. And for a day off, quite a bit of learning happened. In all, they’re sparring better (and whining less), playing with friends more successfully, focusing on music details, and gaining rocketry expertise. Sometimes our planned days of work at home result in less learning and certainly less satisfaction. I think we’ll have to have “records day” more often.