". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

And Not a Moment Too Soon

Several days ago Evan had an announcement.

"Mom, I want to get more serious about my life."

Well, okay! I asked him what he meant by that.

"I want to learn more things. I want to watch educational DVD's. You know, about earthquakes and hurricanes and the human body and cells . . . ."

He makes it sound as though we never learn anything around here. True, we are what is known in homeschooling circles as "relaxed." Some might even call us unschoolers, but strictly speaking, we aren't. We do impose a basic structure with certain requirements. Still, when things like this happen--when I see my kids using their freedom to follow up on natural curiosity--I feel like an honorary unschooler. Children don't want to sit around all day in a semi-vegetative state. (I would argue they can do that in school just as easily as they can at home.) They want to investigate and play and explore and create and if they are minimally encouraged and equipped, they will do so.

I reminded Evan of the DVD section of the library. (I have tried to interest him in those educational DVD's before, to no avail.) "We can check out DVD's on whatever you want to learn about!"

In the meantime, since he seemed especially interested in cells, I reminded him of a book that we already have in our home library. We have done some microscope studies, and I have previously called his attention to this book, but it was quickly rejected because of the picture on the cover. (Remember, I have an HSC. We have been reading Diane Stanley's children's book on Michelangelo, and Evan refused to look at the page with a drawing of Michelangelo preparing to do a human dissection--something the artist did many times to learn about human anatomy and thereby become a better sculptor. The drawing is not at all graphic, but it was too much for Evan. Maybe that's one reason he is becoming increasingly passionate about studying computers. They don't bleed.)

This book was rejected again. But after promising I would skip over the pages with bugs, I did manage to have him look at some magnifications of viruses, bacteria, and blood cells. After we were done, I accidentally left the book in his room. He brought it to me a little later, face down, and asked that I please put it away.

Maybe for now we better stick with the weather. And there's always hex editing, something he has been pleading to learn about for months. The risk there, of course, is the bleeding from my skull as I try to wrap my brain around something that was clearly not meant for human understanding.  


Melody said...

I have a fun book that I used for Mary; remind me when you're here next week. It's called Christian Kids Study Biology or some such. Hands on projects, elementary-level reading; she loved it.

Gauntlets said...

Hex editing = :D

If he likes the idea of human anatomy, here is a book we got for our now six-year-old daughter. She's fascinated by such things, and getting to color something like the carotid artery a bright pink makes for a great rainy afternoon. :D

There are a couple of pages devoted to the reproductive system at the end of the book, but they're pretty straightforward. No agenda or general gik.

Susan said...

I propose using a paper grocery bad (or some such thing) to make a book cover for that book. I'm not saying that Evan is going to want to go back to the book and look at its pages some more, but it might be nice for him just to have a bland cover on the book with the title only, with no chance of bumping into the picture again.

Cheryl said...

Melody, I am familiar with that book. I think we may have owned it at one time.

Dawn, Evan is not big on coloring, but maybe he could handle the black and white pictures better than full color ones! He has enjoyed the Magic School Bus books a lot--they aren't scary.

Susan, that is a great idea!