Today, soon after waking, my younger made his routine inquiry: “What are we doing today?” Good question. We’ve been paring down the formal homeschooling over the last month. As the weather improves, our drive to do what our heart desires increases and the lessons take a back seat. Our lives have been exceptionally full or surprises this spring, making our resistance to our usual work even greater.
For the past few weeks, my younger’s list has been brief: Singapore Math 5A, piano practice, and quiet reading. Some days we read some history, but he’s immersed himself in the crusades (again) and would rather study that than post-WWII Europe and Asia. Fine by me. Spanish dropped out a month ago (watch for a review soon on Spanish for Children), he’s finished the Island level of Michael Clay Thompson, and many other bits met natural ends over the past several months. With Singapore 5A complete, our formal lessons for the year are done. Thank goodness.
Come September, my enthusiasm for planning lessons and teaching from well-designed curriculum will likely return, but for now, I just want to follow the wind and drift to what draws me. For me, that means writing more and catching up on a precarious stack of books on my nightstand along with plenty of gardening and a host of house projects. And of course, a healthy amount of time with friends and loved ones tops my list of summer fun to savor this year. My younger will continue to follow his whims, which now include playing with neighbors, exploring the crusades from every angle, and stalking/studying the ants in our yard. Good stuff.
But my older isn’t finished quite yet. He’s only a half chapter from the end of Jacob’s Geometry, and he’s be done if we weren’t dwaddling so much lately. We still have a few chapters of Michael Clay Thompson to do: Essay Voyage and Caesar’s English II remain on the desk. The last few chapters of those will likely wait until fall. Thanks to his instructor (oh, wait, that’s me), he has a final remaining for Biology, the New York Regents Living Environment Exam. My father, a retiring Biology professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and New York State Regents taker of years long past, assured me that was a good measure of high school biology learning, so I’ve kept that information in mind while designing their class. It’s time to see how well we’ve done. We’re wrapping up slowly.
Spring calls my older as well. Right now, he’s far more interested in carpentry projects, those at hand and those in his head, than any geometry, vocabulary, or writing. The tools call him, as does the hardware store. The boy needs a job to support his lumber habit! Chemistry beckons as well, although the wood speaks louder lately. Time with friends, modifying Nerf guns to shoot faster and further also tops his to-do list lately. Fortunately for his upcoming recital, piano practice still makes the preferred activity list. He’s eager to turn more of his attention to his plans and away from our lessons, and I’m only too glad to do the same.
So summer break begins. My younger’s question will continue as it has for years, as it comforts him to know what the day has in store. But my list is ever shortening, and I’ll be more often turning the question back to him after responding with the reduced list of requirements for the season. Young one, what do you WANT to do today? And, I suspect, that’s a more important question for his education anyway.