Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bonds of brotherhood

    Since beginning our homeschooling journey, I have noticed a change in how my sons interact with each other.  They are closer than they had been.  I realize this is born of necessity, but that makes it no less beautiful to observe.  They play together all the time now.  They read to each other, help and guide each other.  They even cover for each other. 
    Yesterday, we were at Wal-Mart doing our shopping for Thanksgiving.  I had sent Porthos and Aramis to use the restroom while I searched for a few more items.  I sent them to the restroom at the back of the store, and they were to come right back when they were done.  They didn't.  I kept a watch for them as I shopped and when I realized they weren't coming back I went looking for them.  They weren't at the restroom.  Now, this particular Wal-Mart has the shoe department along that very back wall and electronics is across from that.  So I thought perhaps they got distracted by all the games and TVs, but no luck.  So I, thinking my children would not be so bold as to disobey a standing rule of not ever going to the toy section without an adult, I went looking for them back in the grocery section, but not before asking a friend who was there to have the boys return to the restroom if she came upon them. 
    After another sweep, I returned to the restroom area and found my sons sitting waiting for me.  I asked them where they were and Porthos replied they looked for me in the food section.  I reminded him that I wanted him to tell the truth.  So I asked Aramis.  He said they looked for me in the food section because he smelled food. 
    Do you remember that friend I told you about?  She had gone to the toy section, and that's where she found them.  ;)  Here is the deal.  They are not supposed to lie to me.  However, I witnessed a bond between brothers that I would never wish away.  So this time I let it slide.  They do not know that I know the truth of where they were. 

On a side note, yesterday morning my 9 year old sat in our living room watching a movie, while simultaneously observing evidence of the earth's rotation. He had a Lego tower on the floor and kept noticing how the sunlight coming through the window was slowly moving away from his tower. Incidental learning. LOVE IT!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Putting on the Brakes and Being Thankful

    After going rounds with my sons about getting their assignments done, I finally decided to look up this term I have been seeing, deschooling.  A2Z Homeschool explains it better than I can, but basically it's a downtime from school for an extended period of time before starting homeschooling.  Seeing as how I only recently learned the term, I did not deschool our family much before jumping right in to homeschooling.  Text books, schedules, etc.  It was going great for the first several weeks, and then progressively went down hill.  Last week I realized that Athos and Porthos were barely completing two assignments a day, and no amount of reasoning, lecturing, bribing or punishing (consequences) was helping. 
    So finally I look up this term, discuss it with my husband and suggest we let the boys take the rest of this semester off.  Regroup at the end of the year and try again in January.  We had taken all of their toys away the day before in an attempt to remove any distractions for them.  But when we made this new decision back on Monday, we decided they would need their toys back.  Tuesday we told the boys and took them to the shed to recover their things.  It was Porthos who decided that he thought only the legos should come back into his and Aramis' room, because any more than that would make it messy again.  Athos took his comic books back. 
    Then they begged to go to the library so they could check out some books.  Athos wanted the next book in the Heroes of Olympus series.  Porthos wants to learn about Theodore Roosevelt and Aramis wants to study about sharks again.  In the end, we came home with 3 shark books, 2 Roosevelt books (although they had 7 and I had to convince Porthos to take just 2 at a time) and Athos had to settle for a James Patterson novel.
    This morning Porthos and Aramis pulled out their science experiment kit and were mixing ingredients to see if they could make things bubble and foam.  They have played together at the computer.  Now they are entertaining themselves with just a few small toys and are very content. 
    So what am I thankful for?  Hindsight.  Better late then never.  Seeing my sons at peace.  Being able to let them learn what they are interested in at the moment. 
Other blogs to check out:
If Meadows Speak
Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child
Daughter Rising