Friday, July 18, 2008

boyhood ...

(Shootin' out at Papa's house)

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that my kids are free to grow up at their own pace.  They're not exposed to the influences of a school atmosphere.  Therefore they're not forced to hear or see things they're not ready for.  Don't get me wrong, it's not a sheltered life we lead, just a cautious one.  I realize homeschooling is not for everyone, and I'm not here to debate that.  I just want to share the positive things I see in my kids.  Their childhood is just that ... a time to be a kid.  I'm going to start with my son.

He's on the brink of turning 12 years old.  I really can't believe it!  Seems like just yesterday I was marveling at this big, red-headed baby boy babbling away in his bouncy seat. He was born with a "what's-going-on-here?" outlook.  From the minute he could crawl he was off on some adventure or another.  He loves to explore and investigate.  He takes things apart to see just how they work.  He's always working on some experiment or project.  

Today I dropped him off at a friend's house.  They're making a movie!  One of the requirements for my Summer Shakespeare Class is that each student create some sort of project.  They can do whatever they want, I have no requirements other than that it has to relate to Shakespeare.  So my son and his friend immediately put their heads together and started planning their movie.  

(an aside ... if this post sounds disjointed it's because I've had to get up 3 times so far to tend to my 3-year old.  She's supposed to be napping, but so far it's been ... "I need a book, I need to go potty, I need a drink" ... She's several posts just waiting to be written!  So keep checkin' back)

Here's what I love about my son:  he still has an imagination!  He took a big box of costume items to his friend's house so they could dress up and invent something for their movie.  Now granted, he does love to play video games and watch TV, and there are times he'd zone out if we didn't put the controls on him.  But he is happiest when he is using his own imagination to find things to do.

This is why he loves going to Grandma and Papa's house so much.  They live in the country and have plenty of room for a boy to roam.  Some might not see a walnut tree, a ditch with a few puddles of water left and some sticks as a day of play waiting to happen.  But for my boy, even one that's almost 12, it's bliss!  Yesterday's post I talked about my dream of living on some land.  Can you just imagine how cool this would be for the kids?  

What is it with boys and creepy, crawly things?  My friend, Kristen, wrote on her blog about her boys doing some snail collecting.  It reminded me of the time my son and I dug up half of the backyard looking for worms!  This was before we had a pool, before we even had a lawn, just a lot of dirt and weeds.  It had just rained so it was perfect for hunting worms.  This was when he was about 4 years old.  But I'm pretty sure that if the opportunity presented itself again today, he'd be right out there digging up a storm!

He's also been known to collect rolly pollies.  You know, pill bugs.  One time he filled an entire bucket full of them!  He assembled all of his Hot Wheels tracks and had rolly polly races!  I have to have a photo of that somewhere.  It was a scrabookable moment.

Recently it's been insects and spiders that he's been hunting.  He filled an entire aquarium with various spiders from around the neighborhood.  For school, one of his science projects was raising praying mantises.     

Look closely ... from a little pod in that cup about 200 praying mantises were hatched!  He released them into the wild (our backyard).

What's next on the great boyhood adventure list for my son?  Sometimes he has a plan, sometimes it's whatever each day presents.  I wonder if I can convince him that scooping up the dog poop in the yard has some sort of scientific value!  Who knows, he might find one of his grown-up praying mantises out there!


Anonymous said...

Remember our Daniel in the lion's den video when we were in high school? This post totally reminded me of making that. Back in the day... Heehee!

Christine said...

WoW! How cool!