Friday, July 14, 2006

More roof pictures.
I know you probably think I've gone dotty over this roof-and I have. I think it's just beautiful. And I've wanted this roof for a long time. Hmmmm a diamond would have been cheaper but would have given me no more pleasure that looking at this roof.

And here's another with Monkey Boy climbing on the gable end doing all the meticulous finish work. He's so good at those detail things; comes from years of intense
LEGO interaction, I'm sure. He's always been able to take a pile of LEGOs and turn them into something fantastic or just to bring order to any chaos. We were camping in Colorado 5-6 years ago just outside Pagosa at a little campground that had a laundry room and lounge with a TV. We were in the 2nd week of a 3 week all camping trip and the TV was very popular with the boys. The lounge also had a big magazine rack similar to what you see in stores. People would bring in magazines and leave them for others to read. Well, that rack was a mess-so Sam, then 11, organized it for them. All the National Geographics together chronologically, all the Time, all the Trailer Life, etc. He had such a great time doing that. And to think when we decided to homeschool people were worried about the boys learning their ABCs.

And how often do you need to recite the ABCs as an adult? It wasn't on any college entrance exam and it has never been on a job application nor have I been requested to recite them in a job interview. I've never understood "learning the ABCs" as an important gateway to future learning. Aren't the things we are expected to learn in the artificial world of "school" derived from the real world? And wouldn't it follow that those things could be learned from the real world when it becomes important to advance to the next stage of our development. And by being forced to learn prescribed things that may or may not have relevance to us at that point in time what things are we not learning that would be much more beneficial? Simply put, I believe we learn what we need to learn when we need to learn it. The most important concept is to be active and interested in many things. Learning never happens without the spark of interest.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a wonderful book and in it there is a passage in which Miss Brodie, a teacher at an all-girls school in Scotland in the 1930s, compares her view of education with that of another teacher at the school:

"To me education is a leading out of what is already there
in the pupil's soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not
there, and that is not what I call education. I call it intrusion. "

I have no bumper stickers on my car and think it interesting that people seemingly sum up their whole philosophy of life, political ideology, sexual habits and/or religious dogma in a 9" x 3" space on the back of their car. That being said, I do love to collect quotes, so here is one from Thoreau who seemingly has a quote for everything:

"What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch
of a free, meandering brook."

Henry would have been the Bumper Sticker King of his time.
And one last quote, then it's back to building:

"What makes people smart, curious, alert, observant,
competent, confident, resourceful, persistent - in the broadest and best sense,
intelligent- is not having access to more and more learning places, resources,
and specialists, but being able in their lives to do a wide variety of
interesting things that matter, things that challenge their ingenuity, skill,
and judgment, and that make an obvious difference in their lives and the lives
of people around them."
John Holt~ Teach Your Own