Monday, September 17, 2012

School's In And We're Out!

Wow, it's been a long summer and the nice weather just keeps on going.  School is officially in, but since God is gracing us with that big ball of incandescent plasma in the sky just a little longer this year, you can bet we're going to take advantage of it.  So, when most other kids were dressing up with their new outfits, grabbing their lunch boxes, and backpacks, and taking pictures by their front doors just before hopping on a bus for the first day of school, my boys were pulling on their swim shorts, and stuffing their bags with life jackets and towels for a trip to the nearby river.  Yes, we did some school at home, but I'm pretty sure the real learning occurred at the river.

Throwing rocks was an especially enjoyable pastime.  When one rock was thrown, a bigger one was picked up and tossed into the water.  How big of a rock can a little boy carry?  They were determined to find out.  How big of a splash could be made?  Again, the answer was pursued with intensity.  There is an innate desire in little boys to break, destroy, and crush.  This is true especially for The Free One.  He wonders how hard he can push, hit, or throw something before it breaks.  The outcome of this line of questioning often involves a broken toy, damaged furniture, or an injury to some other valuable belonging in our home.  But the generous river gave ample opportunity for this kind of inquiry without the usual negative consequences.  What freedom for me and for him to allow this impulse without restraint.

 Swinging on the rope involved a lot of courage.  The Anchor was the first brave one to let go and splash into the water.  After that, The Free One swung with reckless abandon.

The teacher's lounge included a cool foot bath and a good book.  I could get used to this!

The boys fed the waterfowl some stale bread at a nearby pond.

 I cannot begin to quantify the learning that took place on the river on the first day of school.  No numerical or alphabetical value can be placed on the vast education my boys received while splashing in the current, running among the rocks, and swinging over the water.  

How can you assess the knowledge obtained by watching a mayfly pull itself out of its nymphal shell, flutter its wings, and within seconds fly away.  I have never in my life witnessed that!  The river afforded my boys and me that experience, for which I am inexpressibly grateful.  

This was real learning.  Nothing canned, no agenda, only pure wonder and discovery.


  1. Rhonda T.17.9.12

    What a wonderful way to take advantage of the sun and create lasting memories for your boys!

    1. Rhonda, we have to take advantage of every single photon where we live, don't we! : )


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