Wednesday, November 11, 2009


You know, I miss my journalling -- so I thought I'd blog the day... it's been a long time since I've tried to write out the day. I have a little more space today than usual because K12 gives us a vacation for Veteran's Day. And Brendan and Sean don't go to school! It feels like old times! It went by too fast though.

So today I slept in -- I've been getting a cold and my usual way of fighting back is to try to get as much sleep as I can. Kevin was getting ready to drive Sean to football practice. I had time to start the coffee before they left.

Paddy was hungry and wanted to be read to. We have finished Voyage of the Dawn Treader and are now reading The Silver Chair, so we read "Parliament of Owls" while he ate his burrito left over from last night.

Then he went off to play with a set of paintbrushes. No, he's not painting. They are action figures in some battling game of his. He calls them his "friends".

We had made a deal yesterday that he would do history today, so I went through the online lesson with him while he played with his paintbrush friends. His focus wasn't exactly the best, but he did pick up the essentials. The lesson was about pyramids vs ziggurats.

After that I gave ear to Kieron's appeals that we practice football. He runs receiver routes and I pitch the football to him. We spent about 40 minutes outside -- nice day, not warm but not cold, with a vaguer sky than most days in the California mountains. In between Kieron's routes I pass the ball a bit with Paddy. They are both improving since we started this about a week ago -- Kieron wants to play Pop Warner this summer but wants to be in practice.

Back inside, I started making a cake, with Aidan's help.
Then I cooked some Polish sausages so that anyone who wanted them for lunch could have them.

I started talking to Liam about the terms in Aristotle's Metaphysics -- memory, experience, art, and wisdom. Somehow we started talking about games and modern education. It's interesting that a child will review and review a concept for fun in a game or competition, but the same thing can be sheer drudgery in a different context. It seems to me it ought not to be that way, since Socrates said that early learning should be play. So we were talking about what elements in a game make it so repeatable and delightful even when it is in all ways more difficult than most of the schooly things one does.

Clare called from college during this time and we talked about termites among other things.

Then Sean and Kevin came home.

At that point I retreated to my room to enjoy (if that's the word) reading the rest of Fahrenheit 451. I have never read it before. I started it yesterday because my brain was getting overloaded by more discursive reading. I finished it and took a nap after that.

I woke up to a ravenous Paddy in tears because he just had to eat right that second. He gets to playing and ignores his hunger signals until they are overwhelming.

So I fixed him a snack and we read some more of The Silver Chair. Then we discussed how to manage the problem of getting too hungry at too short notice. We're thinking of something like a little plate of snacks in the fridge so he is more self-sufficient.

I made pizza dough. Then we did his history assessment. That brings us up to the present moment!

Prospects for this evening include baking the pizzas, calling up the real estate agent (we got an offer for our lot and need to make a counter-offer) and maybe vacuuming. Those latter are the things I DIDN'T get to today. Somehow vacuuming and phone calls seemed very mundane compared to the fiery grin and mechanical-hound-pursued flight in Fahrenheit 451.

Oh, and Kieron is going to read Animal Farm. K12 gives the middle schooler a "novel unit" with a choice between several books he wasn't familiar with. So he asked my advice. I picked out Animal Farm because that was the one I had particularly wanted him to read this year. Once the student chooses, a whole unit appears. Cooooll. I wonder what Ray Bradbury (or Orwell for that matter) would think of computerized schooling. Is it the start of the slide down to TV parlors where one's artificial "family" chatters at you from three walls? or is it a real advance like the printing press?

1 comment:

  1. Start of a slide down ... or advance? I suppose that depends on what kind of conversation you're looking for, eh? That's a twist they didn't think of in the Fearsome Future frame of thought -- we get to pick (or have to - both are true)


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