Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well, what about school?

Last Saturday, my dh was busy working so I got the job of driving my son to his archery lesson again. We had a full car because, as well as taking Emma & Blake too, we always stop to pick up another young lad who lives close to us. This fellow is almost 15 years old and talks like a wind-up toy, except that his batteries never go flat! He's very likeable but quite amazing. I think he's one of the few people I've met who can keep up a running monologue and call it a conversation. He only needs a few prompts, such as mmm, yeah, wow, and little laughs to keep him going for the whole 25 minute car drive. In fact, we've never tried the drive in total silence, so it's very possible that he doesn't even need that!

Here's a list of some of the topics he was talking about on Saturday.

1) Funny little clips he'd found on "You Tube"

2) Humorous pictures and signs he'd read.

3) What he did during his last family holiday into the country.

4) Run-downs of all the movies he's seen at the cinema recently.

5) Some of the vandalism which has taken place in the toilets and Science lab at his school.

It was only after I'd dropped him home that the question, "What about school?" occurred to me. He's a fairly bright boy who loves to talk about anything and everything that he finds interesting, so it struck me that nothing he learns in his classroom appeals to him enough to even mention. All of the bits of trivia he picks up seem to be learned outside of school. And he only ever mentions school when he talks about what the rebels are doing to annoy teachers and make their lives difficult. His school is quite an expensive private school that Andrew and I decided we could never afford way back in the days when we were still considering "normal" school for our kids. I thought it very revealing that someone as interested in the world and talkative would dismiss school lessons in his own mind as not worth talking about.

Makes me think John Taylor Gatto has quite a valid point when he calls schools, "Institutions where we farm out our kids and keep them from taking a useful part in society because we've been so brainwashed that we don't know what else to do with them," or words to that effect, (I wrote that from memory.) It reinforces my relief that we've chosen not to be part of it for now.


  1. Excellent observation!
    Now are you dying of curiousity to ASK him about school? I would be, lol.


  2. Oh please, please, ask him about his subjects next time! I want to know if you found the perfect way to get some quiet in the car!
    Peace and Laughter,


  3. Makes me wonder if he's learning anything at all in the classroom - perhaps he's just as talkative in school as he is out of school.

    Score one more point for homeschooling!

    I wish it were spring here.


  4. I have to tell you that he sounds much like my oldest son. Including the talking part. LOL

    Learning does not interest him in the least. However he LOVES mowing lawns, digging ditches and working around the house.Pretty much any manual labor. He is simply not into learning.Well, at least not anything we learn about during school. :o) He didn't even like me to ask him questions like "what's that?" when he was three years old.

    I have decided to stop stressing about it and come to terms with the fact that God made him to be a worker not a thinker. If I didn't homeschool, I probably wouldn't even know that about him. I would just figure he wasn't trying or something. But now we can work on
    academics as well as nurture the gift that God has given him.

    Yesterday, one of the girls at church made the observation that my boys "would never survive a day in public school with all the homework and stuff." To which I reply, "I am so glad they don't have to!"

    I do love homeschooling! (Sorry that got so long.)

  5. *LOL* I love what Lein wrote -- about school not interesting the youngster because that is very obvious. I love the visual image of him being wound up and chattering. :-)

    Can't wait to see if there's a part two to the story.