But this is not what my kids are excited about at the moment. When the schoolwork part of the day was finished, when I'm done yelling at 10 yo for misplacing his spelling words (again), when 8 yo has completed his totally unfair math where "they keep tricking me by asking for area and I am much better at finding perimeter", the kids decided to go outside. It is cold here, not as cold as in the northeast, but the temperature is just above freezing. I was trying to get 1 yo to take his nap, and to finish Shabbos cooking, so I strongly encouraged this outing. I was not sure how long they will last outside, so I suggested gloves. They wanted to go digging. I decided that they will find out for themselves what digging in frozen ground feels like.
We had a tree cut down recently, with a large stump remaining. My husband made a bonfire on top of it this past Sunday, and the kids fed it, and toasted marshmallows. But the stump is still there, and there are old grass clippings and wood shavings all around it. They went digging between the roots, two boys with shovels and one girl, watching and helping. Suddenly, they dash into the house, excited: "We think we found gold!" A large crumbly rock is thrust into my face, with pale yellow veins running through it.
|Not from our yard|
I have learned to stay positive, or non-committal in such situations. They washed the rock off, examined it, and then went Googling to find out how to tell whether they struck gold. I came in the middle of them watching a video telling how to identify gold in quartzite. The rock in the video looked eerily like the rock they found.
Now they want a magnifying glass, to examine those grains and veins closely.
I bet they will not remember much of what we did this morning. I bet they will not remember which exact problems they solved to get area, or which sentence they used for "especially". I bet they will remember the time they struck gold in the front yard.
This is what gives me strength to continue homeschooling. As much as I would like to have a certain balance of academics and tangible achievements, knowing that they have freedom to explore, be passionate, conduct their own research, and draw their own conclusions is more important than my objectives.