March 30, 2009

I'm Back

I got home late Saturday night, flying into St. Louis from Austin, then a two hour drive home. Peter rode with his dad to come get me. I was glad because I'd missed his entire Spring Break at home. So we talked nonstop, catching up on everything about school and life. I really love talking to Peter. He has such interesting insights into things. We talked about the classes he'll be starting (today!) and the two quarters he's finished. He got straight A's again. He thinks his classes are easy, and I asked him if other kids think that too or if he's just a genius. :) He said, some of his classes seem to be less demanding than other sections, and the stuff he's taking is "right up his alley," meaning lots of reading and analysis. So really, that's the key. If you are doing what you love, you'll naturally be good at it. And the more time you spend at it, the better you get.

For example, Peter loves to read and explore his interests. He's been doing that since the age of six. He thought it was funny that he had checked out 25 books from the library this past quarter and a couple of his friends had only checked out one or two. These were not required reading but books he wanted to read in his "free time." Next quarter he'll be taking a class that focuses on one book and goes into it deeply. That's one complaint he's had about his core freshman classes--they are too general and skim the surface of things.

We also spent a lot of time talking about his fourth grade class (his work-study job is helping out at a local elementary school). That's been a very interesting experience for him. He loves the kids and thinks they are fascinating. He said he'd much rather listen to them and how they think, answering their questions and being a resource than having them listen to him hand out information (spoken like a true unschooler). So he went on and on about how this kid figured this out or what questions come up here and there. And he's amazed at how they struggle with reading and comprehension.

Before I left on my trip to Austin, I had gotten out his fourth grade file because he was curious what he was like as a fourth grader. I have a file folder hanging in a file cabinet for every kid at each grade level. That has been my method of record keeping over the years. We had a lot of fun flipping through that. And I must say, I did a great job that year. I even had a list of books he'd read, authors included! That list took up a few pages, and not all of them were kid books, like Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. He remembered that as being a pretty complicated book and couldn't believe he'd read it in fourth grade. He was helping me plan a garden that year. I asked him what he thought little fourth grade Peter would be like in a public school classroom. He said he probably would have been really bored and gotten into trouble a lot.

This is Peter the day he got home from Spring Break (he has since gotten a haircut). He and Dad spent most of the week playing Puzzle Pirates.

So now I'm home. Thank you to everyone who prayed for Lesley and sent us all well-wishes. She's handling her chemo treatments well so far, and her nine-year-old daughter is very helpful with the littler ones. She also has a very supportive church family. They brought her meals twice while I was there. I'm exhausted, but very grateful for my home and family. What's that about absence making the heart grow fonder? Meg had charted out everyone's chores to get the house in shape before Mom got home, and it looked great. Everyone sure appreciates me a lot more now. :)


G.Dowell said...

Glad you are home and that Lesly's doing well with her treatments. Sounds like Meg did well in organizing the cleaning crew before you got home.

Anonymous said...

So glad you got to spend at least a little time with Peter before he had to head back! I can only imagine how great it felt to get back home...hope things continue well with your friend.

Letitia said...

I know you are so glad to be back home. I pray your friend is able to beat this cancer.

I know how you feel about missing Peter's spring break. With Briana in this production, she didn't get one at all. We went over to see her opening night, but only got to see her one full day and a couple of hours the night before.
I have pictures now of her dress rehearsal. said...

Glad you are back - missed your encouraging posts last week.


Unknown said...

Welcome home!

Joyful Days said...

Glad you made it home safely. Continued prayers for Lesley and her family.

What a fun trip down memory lane that must have been with your son. I am always amazed with pictures from even just a few years ago. They change so fast!!

Enjoy your family.


JoVE said...

Welcome back. You've got some great kids there. And I'm glad Lesley is doing okay and has local support.

diane said...

I LOVED reading about your son's experiences at college as well as what you were both up to when he was in 4th Grade! As a new homeschooling mom, your posts have been encouraging and helpful. In a constant state of evolution, Diane

Sarah said...

I love that picture of you and your son. The similarities with your faces right next to each other are startling. You both have the same, very nice smiles.

When I worked at a university's International Office, some of our student workers were Chinese. I was allowed to bring my baby girl - who looked very much like her father - to work with me and they commented on how it was considered lucky in their culture to look like the parent of the opposite sex.

I'm enjoying your blog. Thank you for the thoughtful and very useful posts.

Unknown said...

I actually just checked out square foot gardening myself!!! So glad to see others using it. I heard about it from another blogger and close friend. Of course, I didn't find out until we hand dug and planted our entire 20ftx20ft garden....but at least we have a wonderful idea for next year!!!!

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