Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Red Barn, Purple Trees & The Joy of Discovery

Honestly, I was not going to post anything today. {I feel self conscious about over sharing, wearing out my welcome in the blogosphere.} Then, I went out to feed goats, collect eggs, visit hens... and the day! The day is so beautiful I had to pick up my camera. I've waited to see how bodacious and riotous the barn would look, beneath a shower of purple blossoms, ever since October, when the boys painted it Barn Red. Now, the jacarandas are in full bloom, and it is a sight to behold. The sky is a blue confection. Nothing edited or enhanced on these photos. You can see, right, why I had to share? It's too beautiful to be contained. And the there's the smell of cut grass, and warm straw, sweet alfalfa, and sun. The sun smells like things growing, heat, something coming... summer, maybe? I found three eggs, and hungry chickens. They don't know that chicks will be arriving, soon... their summer will be one of adjustments, and negotiations. The goats were reclining in the shade of their cottage, and in no hurry to get up, but they smiled at me, then came for their second breakfast. They looked content, and mild.

Really, I didn't intend to write anything for Chickenblog, but as long as we're here... we had waffles this morning, an extra effort sort of breakfast, because the high school had a late start. Max loves a good breakfast and a late start. How many articles and studies have you seen that tout the benefits of late starts for adolescents and growing children? Seems like they're always "discovering" that young people fare better when they can get more sleep. They might go to bed earlier, but then there's the other frequently reported homework crisis we face. And even though plenty of studies suggest that homework isn't always beneficial, or necessary, it still manages to get heaped on them, more and more. The day is too beautiful for further pondering, so I'll just say... late start mornings are marvelous, and I don't hold much account for heap loads of homework.

If I were the benevolent rule-maker I would say, Let homework be play, and discovery, bring back show and tell, and nap time. Schools should send everyone home with seeds, and dirt, with flutes, and drums, with wood and nails, and ask them to build something useful, something to give away. Homework could be for tending a community garden, taking a sewing class, walking dogs, beach combing, surfing, cycling, opening a book, composing a tune, reading aloud, dabbling, tinkering, wondering, asking, answering, practicing the art of learning by doing. Not every day. I know there are "important" things to do, and duties to perform, but it seems like there is a lot to learn, a lot to grow from, when we make room to find something unexpected.

1 comment:

Janece said...

I love the way you think! And how you see! Thank you for sharing it all with us!