Monday, 28 October 2013

That darn big red brick building

I've decided that school is getting in the way of our learning.

Last week I had another epic conversation with Colin.  His best friend's brother just joined the army, so he wanted to know what one does in the army.  So we talked a little about war, but mostly about Canada's role as peacemakers.  Then we talked about Afghanistan and Iraq, and the decision to send troupes to other countries.  Then we talked a little about why there is fighting in Afghanistan, and the difference between civil wars and oppression.  We covered about how rebels get weapons, and why innocent people are caught in the middle.  (All very delicately, of course, given Colin's age.)  Colin's last question: do we have the right to send armed troupes into other countries to fight there?  I left him with an open-ended answer, admitting that that is the moral question we all have to answer ourselves.

Yesterday Caleb insisted on pulling out Monopoly, and being taught the "real rules."  Three and a half hours later, he bankrupted both Colin and James.  By the end, both boys were multiplying to collect rent and pay for houses, and doing large sum addition and subtraction in their head to make change.  It took mere seconds for them to do problems like 500-320, or 10x the roll of the dice, or 2x $18.

Caleb can't get enough time with me sitting beside him at the piano as he whizzes through his book. Benjamin hasn't had time to learn the letters he wants to write.  Caleb insists there is much more to his story he's writing (he's only 16 pages in.)  And Colin would benefit from experimental time with the new art mediums he's learning in art classes.  Then there is skating and cooking and guitar...

I'm so grateful for the school system that my kids have been able to attend during the years when I was laid up in bed during pregnancy, or (like right now) sleeping about 2 hours a night.  I have had 4 high energy babies/toddlers who all required so much attention I have barely been able to get to the feeding of the family, let alone the cleaning or educating.  But I wonder if, as Juliette and Ben both grow more independent, if homeschooling might be on our horizon yet...

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