Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Let Your Breath Return to Normal

The above phrase is what I often find myself saying at the end of a yoga class as everyone settles into savasana - releasing the extended ujjayi breath that they have been doing (in theory anyway) while practicing their asana and returning to a regular breath pattern. It seems a little funny that I have to say it but then I think of the many times that I have found myself in savasana still deep breathing away as if I was still going through vinyasa after vinyasa. So, a gentle reminder is a nice thing.

I feel a little like life just gave us a gentle reminder. Yesterday was Lucy's last day of school. She had been asking to leave school for a couple of weeks now but I felt she needed to stick to her commitment. Also, getting her registered and included in all the classes caused many people to do extra work, so there was an obligation to respect that work and not just ditch out on a whim.

That said, we have only three more weeks here. When we return in June, summer will be on its way (we have worn our winter coats in June so summer is not a given in that month) and this winter will be far behind us. It seemed like Lucy would learn more and experience this place better if she were out of school at this point. So, we talked and decided that she would clear out her things and say some good-byes on Monday. This morning she is sleeping in.

Last night she sorted through all the worksheets and tests, appalled at the amount of paper she used during those couple of months. She kept saying, "Imagine if I went for 12 years!" Personally, I was appalled at how every teacher seemed to depend so heavily on worksheets to begin with - is there a more boring way to convey information? I can't think of one. Indeed, the whole school experience was proof positive that our decisions about education have been on the right track. I have been genuinely shocked at what passed for teaching and sheer amount of wasted time. I feel terribly for the children who actually still enjoy learning by the time they reach grade 7 - there isn't a lot there for them and expectations seemed very, very low.

I could go on about some of the terrible things that were passed off as education, but suffice to say that our breath is returning to normal.

Let this slightly blurry photograph be an illustration. Each evening, when I am settling down to spin quietly, my mind no longer interested in delving into the mysteries of life except to choose which fleece I think is prettiest at the moment, Finnian approaches and starts to ask me deep questions. One night it was, "Mom, what is antimatter?"

"Well Finnian, to answer that we will need to go all the way back to the Etruscans..."

What the..? Even after looking it up and reading about it, I still have no idea what antimatter is. Last night, his question was about what it meant when people said that dice were "loaded". What exactly were they loaded with?

So we looked it up. He then proceed to attempt to load a die by heating on top of the woodstove. I am not sure if it worked but I know I will be cautious when playing dice games with Finn from now on.

The rich experiences of the homeschooler. We can breath freely now.


OfTroy said...

my son LOVES dice --the cubes and the dodecahydron ones or pyamidical ones, or any shape (many games use fancy dice) and he too learned to shave and weight dice
(carefully with a drill press drill out and weight die(drill into a dot, and its less obvious--but a drill press is needed to keep the drill perfectly still fill the hole with lead dots (bird shot) (you can buy shot with no charge (gun powder)

Now i think he cringes at how he treated his dice. now he treaat dice as tiles--and does art work

Robyn said...

Helen, the apple didn't fall far from the tree! I see a lot your knitting in those dice patterns your son made. Finn loves those other dice as well (he is a big D&D fan) but he thought it made sense to practice on cheaper, more ordinary dice. Interesting that your son went as far as drilling...we read about that technique but it seemed like taking it a bit further than we could manage.