Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lifestyle of Living Volume 18: An Ending of Sorts

We approach education in a free-flowing kind of way.
We believe that a thorough and satisfying education can be achieved by fully engaging in life and relationships; being curious, pursuing to our hearts content, challenging ourselves.
We tend to view schoolish things such as grade level and scope and sequence as arbitrary and restrictive.  We have sought to slough off those restrictions but those schoolish constructs still enter our lives.  Our state's homeschool laws require that within a school term (12 months or less) 1000 hours of instruction must take place, with 600 of these hours focusing on five core subjects.  This requirement means that we must establish a school term.  We have determined that our school term runs from June 1 of each year through May 31 of the following year.  At the conclusion of May 31 the boys may say that they are now in the next grade - they are always being asked what grade they are in.  We may view grade level as arbitrary and not really revealing much about the individual and what knowledge and skills they have attained but others find it to be very important and many community-based programs are based on grade level so we speak their language and have assigned the boys a grade level.  Today my boys are in a different grade then they were in yesterday despite the fact that their lifestyle of learning looks just the same and different as it did the days before.
Typically each volume of our lifestyle of learning would include the week beginning on Sunday and going through Saturday.  This volume will include Sunday, May 26 through Friday, May 31.
 This volume will share with you the final week of Bishop's sixth grade year and Maceo's seventh grade year.
And so I present the final lifestyle of learning for the academic year 2012-2013...

We began our week with the recognition of U.S. soldiers and their sacrifice for our nation
 and then we moved on to feasting, fun and family fellowship.
Bishop did our Memorial Day grilling
and spent some time in the kitchen making homemade ice cream, berry crumble and chicken marinade.  He is getting more and more comfortable selecting his own recipes and working autonomously in the kitchen.
We enjoyed some of our ripening mulberries in the form of muffins. Yum!
And the first creamsicles of the warmer months.
Bishop spent nearly six hours playing hard with good friends.

Bishop read The Brotherband Chronicles.  Maceo began World War Z and has downloaded the audio version of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.  And there has been sketching.
We have watched storms roll in
and have survived those storms, a little wet and bedraggled but doing well.
We have toasted the end of a 'school' year and the beginning of another.
And just for the fun of it we take a look at Maceo on the final day of the term a year ago
next to a picture of him at our final day celebratory meal this year.
And do the same for Bishop; him celebrating a year ago...
and this years celebration.
Aaaahhh, good times together!
So, we wrap up another week and, in fact, wrap up another academic year.
And we acknowledge that these times of endings and beginnings, even relatively arbitrary ones, are to be embraced and viewed as beneficial for they allow us a time to reflect on where we have been and what we have done and help us focus on where we hope to go and what we hope to do.
So, now on to a new year of adventures in loving and learning!

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