Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Late Summer Ramble

Last year I was adamant about clinging to the last remains of summer. This year I feel eager to bid it goodbye.

Many homeschoolers are advocates of year-round schooling. There are many reasons why I do not personally wish to do it, but one of them is that I have no heat tolerance. If the temperature is above 76 I am cranky and do not wish to speak to, hear from, and especially not touch other people. This is not good for education. So, it's a great time of year for the kids to be doing that valuable unstructured playing outside and anything else that involves them not talking to me.

However, eventually, this adds up to too much crazy and it feels like time to have a plan again. So I wrote one out. Duchess is thrilled. She loves plans. Deux is horrified. There are never enough hours in the day for all the things he wants to do, and therefore any time planned for school is time when he cannot be playing Legos/reading Encyclopedia Brown/digging giant holes in the front yard. DOB pointed out that children in regular school spend six hours a day at it, but by that time Deux had lost interest in the conversation and was back playing Legos/reading Encyclopedia Brown/digging giant holes in the front yard.

I have not read nearly as many books aloud as I meant to over the summer. Actually, we haven't finished the first one. This is because I hate it. I am not sure what to do about this. They like it. It's highly recommended by our curriculum, which I normally agree with. It is not a bad book--the chapters are just too long for me to enjoy reading out loud and I am finding it a bit too verbose for the subject matter. Right now I'm going to let it slide and read Brer Rabbit to them instead. Probably it is not worth persevering to the end if it means I never read another book aloud to them because I am dreading this one so much.

In preparation for the first day of school, and the doubling of our school size, I dug out the camera and the cord and put fresh batteries in it and downloaded the pictures and realized that the last time I had used it was May. Of 2012. I should probably do better about this. If it weren't for Her Majesty, we'd have no record of our past year of existence at all.

DOB did get up to the specialist at the University, and he ran some tests and ordered more and said it probably won't kill or permanently incapacitate him, so try not to worry too much and I'll see you in October once the test results come back. It wasn't very helpful, but I guess it's better than something that *would* kill him.

I was reading a discussion on the idea that the executive functions of the brain don't finish maturing until 25 and older people considering whether this meant young people should delay various decisions or responsibilities. I have a couple of random thoughts on this subject, completely unhampered by any actual research. One is that perhaps late maturing of the brain is more created by our culture than inherent--to a considerable extent brain functions are shaped by brain use, and so perhaps if you don't get to make grownup decisions, you don't learn how to make them. A second is that perhaps it's a good thing--growing up involves taking on a lot of really terrifyingly risky things all at once for the very first time, and it's better that it be done by people who haven't quite learned to think through all the potential consequences of their actions, because if they did, the human race would come to a dead stop right there.


Diary of an Autodidact said...

In honor of your PLAN, here is a list of my comments:

1. Here's to giant holes in the front yard! Giant holes in the back yard are fine, too. (Actually, come to think of it, "legos, Encyclopedia Brown, and giant holes" is a pretty good description of my childhood.)

2. I'm glad we didn't do year round schooling when I was a kid.

3. Although learning doesn't stop in the summer. We camp, hike, and read stuff. And do science, because it is hard for me to do it every day during the year. We do it on the nights Amanda works. Just because.

4. Glad to hear DOB is at least not in immediate risk. Best wishes coming his way.

5. I like your take on the age 25 thing. Of course, I was self supporting by 23, and my wife married me at age 21 (I was 24). So we kind of had to grow up. I think I probably would have been fine at 18 if I had a real job prospect without school, but that is our modern society for you.

Wendy said...

Glad to hear about DOB.

We run a minimal school in summer - mostly a low level of math so we don't have to start all over in fall.

Totally agree about heat, though - AC is a life sustaining necessity over here (it was 90 with 85% humidity today).

I wonder about the brain maturity time scale. We got married when we were both 20, but we had both done a lot before then. I'm thinking of the time when girls married at 13, and boys at 15. Of course, they died by 40... Maybe they were early bloomers? Or maybe the biological changes of child rearing sped up the brain maturation?