Another day off of school and I've gotten wiser about how to navigate "free time" and "structured time." Our to-do list today includes:
shovel snow (a few times)
bake cake for dessert
review Awana sections
1000 piece jigsaw puzzle
Meanwhile, I've chipped away at my own to-do list. It's weird to be grounded at home so much this winter, but lovely to experience it with older kids. When they were little and needy, snow days were rough on my psyche--all the cleaning up after them and managing their activity load. This morning I let everyone sleep in and surprised them one by one with the happy news of no school as they came down for breakfast. Mr. G made himself French toast after I taught him how, even. Self-sufficiency is a gift that both parents and children can enjoy.
In related news, Mr. T had his orientation to high school yesterday and came home excited to try Honors English, a woods class and maybe art. He's conflicted about whether to take regular math or skip up to Geometry, and cannot wait to study Chemistry. One of his teachers this year is discouraging him from taking Honors English. She likes to focus on grammar, so I went online to check out the syllabus--Mr. T's a reader, so if the course was lit-heavy, I feel he can handle it. It is! I cannot tell you how it pleases me to see my son go from despising school to getting excited to tackle new subjects and learn all he can. He's enthusiastic about trying both tech. ed and college prep classes, which I think is an excellent blend for any kid to study.
True story: years ago when I was in high school I was in the "college track." I recall sitting with my guidance counselor and expressing an interest in Auto I--I reasoned that I'd probably own a car my entire life so it would be useful to know things like how to change oil, etc. No, he argued, writing "Choir" as an elective for me. You're going to college, you don't need to take that class. Bullshit. What did four years of choir ever do for me? Not much. Looking back at all of my high school classes, Typing, Biology, Advanced Math, Driver's Ed and Accounting were really the most useful classes. I type almost every day, I can balance my check book and keep a budget, drive safely and appreciate the natural world. All of my other coursework was head knowledge, which is important, but one needs both practical knowledge and deep thoughts to be well-rounded. Four years of English and Choir didn't do much for me as a human or as a thinker--and I write this as someone who went on to teach high school English. My Social Studies classes were interesting, perhaps somewhat useful as I did get a good background on geography and civics, and I guess Spanish didn't hurt me any. Drama AND Speech class? Repetitive, really. I never had much homework, so those hundreds of hours in study hall were really wasted on writing notes to friends and gossiping about cute boys. I could have well afforded to take Auto I. I wish I would have fought that battle harder, but looking back I suspect there was as much sexism as elitism in the guidance counselor's advice at the time. NO girls took tech. ed classes ever back then.
Spill it, reader. What class do you wish you'd taken in high school? Incidentally, I'm off to call Al Huss to schedule an oil change for the Momvan now...