The Events Which Took Place on My First Day of Homeschooling Two Little Boys
I've been teaching two boys language arts and Latin, twice a week, in a small homeschool setting. The first day was entertaining, and I chronicled it here for fun.
Upon entering the room, on my very first day, I discovered that the study table and the four bright orange chairs surrounding it were much too small for me. Looking at the boys, I asked, more from amusement than anything else, "Boys, do you think I'm going to fit into these chairs and isn't this table too small for me?"
They both agreed, I would not, and it was.
We discussed Alice in Wonderland and how I might need to drink a potion to shrink a little. Short of this and to put their minds to work, I asked them to help me solve the problem.
They enthusiastically decided they needed to find a larger chair for me. Two minutes later they returned proudly with a white chair, which they put down beside the orange chair, only to discover it was, in fact, smaller. Both boys were looking rather disappointed, so I decided to give their chair a try to prevent their efforts from becoming futile.
"You know, I think this one actually fits fine," I chirped as both their faces lit up again.
It wasn't an untruth. It was more comfortable than the orange chair, and overlooking the remaining problem of the very tiny table, I was perfectly content with it.
About halfway through the morning, I decided to read some Edward Lear rhymes to them. Giving the boys some drawing paper and colored pencils to keep their hands occupied, I read while they discovered some clever rhymes about ladies who grew their noses into points and used them to play their harps with; old men whose beards were nests for local animals, and more men whose shoes creaked while they walked.
Afterward, I looked at their drawings, both drawn with much intensity and detail, and they each took turns telling me the stories that accompanied them.
"Thank God these boys are not in public school," I thought afterward; "because they might have been reported to the school social worker for the content of their stories and drawings!"
You see, one child had drawn a picture of a battlefield and a plane flying in about to drop a bomb on people, and the other had drawn a battlefield with more tanks and more bombs, which in public school would be considered politically incorrect behavior for boys today.
In my classroom, however, it was boys just being boys, so rather than be alarmed, I was intrigued by the intricacies of the stories they told and delighted by the passion with which they shared them. In our little room, there was no danger of their being reported for doing things boys have always done.
The funniest moment during the morning, though, came after I mentioned to them that they needed to run around outside and play a lot for their brains to grow properly. About an hour into the morning, one of the boys started fidgeting all over the place and could barely sit still.
"Ok, you both need to get up and run around the yard once and then come back straight away!" I proclaimed.
They thought that was just about the funniest thing they had ever heard. Laughing, they both ran off, completed their circles, and returned to the classroom able to sit still again.
"Do you know why I had you do that?" I asked.
"So our brains would grow?" the more fidgety of the two replied.
We all laughed. It was a logical answer, so I left it at that.
The highlight of the day, for me, was when one of the boys commented on how they had been playing all morning. Actually, they hadn't been. They'd been working hard at writing, memorizing, listening, reading, and even elocution.
But, it felt like play to them, and that tickled me pink.
Elizabeth Y. Hanson teaches parents the secrets and skills to raising brighter children with a focus on getting the early years right. She is the founder of Smart Homeschooler™ and has been a consultant and researcher in children's education since 2001.
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