Raising Boys In A Factual World. Notes From Our School

By | October 19, 2015

sunIt’s Friday and sunny. Little boy has his midday piano class and the tune of ‘Hot cross buns’ flows around the living room and trails all over the house, chasing big brother outside where he can read ‘The story of science’ without any hot buns crossing his mind.

The topics of today were bones and the wonder of movement. We ran barefoot and then with shoes, we noticed how our heads and their content shook uncomfortably as we landed on our heels and then we discovered how the body knows what to do when you let it do its thing. Barefoot? Worth trying (though in Kamloops some running trails require some separation between you and cacti; they truly are merciless.)

Boys and sun chasing each other around the back yard, learning about feet, bones and joints, backbones and postures and why breathing and walking and feeling light in the head and heart are so intrinsically and magically related.

Why does it take more effort to sit with your back straight? Why does it get easier as you do it more?

We’re indulging in bad posture until we don’t notice anymore. But our bodies know what’s right. Slouching, bad attitude, giving up before you start, they are related. Can you slouch when you walk? Not for long. When you choose to have a good posture, your body becomes more flexible and your movement fluid.

Little boy says with confidence ‘Mom, I do not find skeletons creepy anymore. They really cannot stand or walk in real life, they just can’t since there are no joints…’ A perfect conclusion! Right in time for Halloween. Knowledge is power, now the boys see why.

The week was rife with learning: math, geometry, plant physiology, reading short stories and learning words. I love hearing the sweet impressions upon reading, I love seeing my boys’ thoughts come out in words that describe what they read and see while reading.

‘The description of pines covered in that first snow, Mom, I love reading descriptions like that because I can see it right in front of me…’ The love of books and stories is the one the boys will hold close forever.

worldGiftsWe learn of the place we live in through morning hikes. How much can you see on a given morning? They write lists upon returning: downy woodpeckers, red squirrel, magpies, robin, Saskatoon bushes, dried up arrow-leaf balsam root, kinnickinnick, juniper, bunchgrass, snowberries, prickly-pear, clouded sulphur butterfly, big leaf maple. I get gifts of beautiful rusty maple leaves.

Tomorrow we will see more or less. No two days are the same.

No day of learning is the same either. We learn about being kind, considerate, remember that one person’s perspective is but that: one person’s perspective. Facts take it from subjective to objective.

Facts of life. No judging, no assuming, no making someone self-conscious but allowing them to keep their dignity, as we keep ours, by stating facts and allowing space for people to find solutions.

For three days in a row, the boys snuggle together to read about the gold rush. They giggle, wonder at how it all happened and ask each other ‘would you have done it?’… Eyes rolling side to side, looking for the right answer, reading some more and … time to play outside. There’s so much of the day left still. Learning of a different kind, though playing and figuring things out, through seeing things that we learn about in our little school.

‘Mom, I can never look at leaves the same way. They are so much more than just leaves…’ Reverence.

‘Are we eating cells when we eat fruit and veggies just like that?’

togetherReverence makes room for humbleness. There’s so much to learn, yet it’s through the small steps that our minds dare take the greatest leaps towards places unknown. Curiosity. More learning… to open eyes, to reach hearts – our own in the first place, to understand that life is precious in all aspects of it.

To make moments, days, time with each other, with ourselves, with life itself, worth it.

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