Ok, I had promised a more serious post, and I will do that, I just think my wife is a great teacher and my children are a treat . . .
The other day my eight-year-old son, Aidan, was his usual squirmy self at the dinner table. Tired of it, I said, "Where is the turtle?" Moments later one of the kids presented me with a blue, American flag-covered cloth turtle stuffed with heavy pebbles. It's a teacher's tactile tool used to help kids remember when they are to be seated.
So I take the turtle, put it on Aidan's lap, and say, "Hey, we need a name for that fat little thing." I'm thinking, then, "gordo," "tubby," "lardo," or someting like that. But then I hear from the ten-year-old seated to my left, "How about 'Taft'!"
We all started cracking up. It was PERFECT! "Taft," as in the corpulent former President and Chief Justice, William Howard Taft. (see picture below)
As a parent, I thought this was just great. I'm thinking about synonyms for "fat" and my ten-year-old is beyond that, thinking abstractly, searching her mind for something large and American, easily-recognizable and personal. In a moment she had it: TAFT!
There was a day when neither my wife nor I would have even considered homeschooling. I thought the folks I had met who did this were monk-ish fools. But this episode with my kids reminds me that I had ignorantly charicatured homeschooling; in addition, it illustrates some of the joys I have found in homeschooling:
- Carrie is the primary teacher and she's an incredibly talented woman across the whole spectrum of knowledge and aptitudes. If I were a wealthy man looking for a private tutor for my children (as they did in the old days) I would pick Carrie. I mean, I look at this woman and think: How could I not have her school the children, at least for a few years!
- We all learn together and have fun doing it.
- We're able to cover a breadth and depth that regular school can't.
- The kids are learning together and in the process learning to teach others and in the process better learning the material.
- The kids, much more like real life, are not divided according to peer group and communicate confidently with people of all ages.
We're not planning to homeshool forever. At this point our debate is whether to begin public school in 5th or 6th grade (Van Wert Middle School is grades 6-8), but (getting back to title of this post) I love it that children ten, eight and five all got the joke about a fat, American-flag-covered turtle named "Taft."
Yours in Christ--Lance_+