Conversations with the homeschooled

First of all: wow. I am overwhelmed. Seriously. Everyone who commented on my post about trying to encourage Rhys to read; everyone from the fabulous Orsig list who wended (?) his or her way over here to read more of the saga; everyone who e-mailed me your encouragement and your experiences: thank you so, so, so much. I appreciate your help more than you know.

And I will respond to you individually–I still have lots more questions, so if you offered (Kit), you’re going to get hammered. By my questions, not by alcoholic drinks. You may want to get hammered (by alcoholic drinks) by the time I’m done pestering you… but you don’t really need my permission for that, do you?

Also, a Note to Self: never write a post that’s going to elicit oodles of feedback-warranting feedback when you’re in the throes of a day-job deadline. Sheesh.

And now, a few brief interludes from conversations with my kids.

These occurred yesterday, when the weather was so deliciously perfect (temp in the low seventies, cloudless sky, slight breeze) that we just couldn’t stand to be inside and so hopped on the Max (Papa needed the car for work) and headed downtown to splash about at the Jameson Square fountain. We also visited Powell’s, twice–one trip to the great Mecca of All Things Literary, and a first-ever (for the kids) foray into Powell’s Technical Books, where Fisher discovered a great big shelf full of aviation manuals and then stumbled across a book called “Principles of Combustion.” (“Calvin needs this book,” was our verdict. Also, I discovered that I don’t know quite enough chemistry to read equations such as Δc
m (C15H10O7·H2O, s) = −(5 937.99 ± 2.99) kJ · mol
−1 out loud to the kids. Blame my flawed education.

Scenario 1: We were in the throes of a heated discussion about zombies. Zombies are one of our favorite topics of conversation, trailing perhaps only cats (omnipresent) and World War I aircraft (aargh). I mentioned to the boys that if there were a sudden zombie attack at that moment, our friends Suzanne and Howard have an apartment only a few blocks from Jameson Square and we could head over there and take the elevator up and be safe.

Rhys: “Zombies don’t know how to ride elevators?”

Me: “Well, they can’t really reason at all, so they couldn’t understand how to get into the elevator and push the right button and get to the floor where people were hiding. I suppose they could stumble into the elevator and flail around and accidentally push the button to go up, though.”

Fisher: “It would be funny if a zombie got into the elevator and pushed the button, but instead of a button for a floor or the B button for the basement they pushed the CD button.”

Me: “CD?”

Fisher: “You know… for Certain Death. And it takes you down to underneath the basement, and then it’s all full of sharp spikes and stuff.”

Rhys: “That wouldn’t kill zombies, though, Fisher, unless the spike went right through their head.”

Me: (thinking a Certain Death button should be stock equipment on every elevator)

Scenario 2: We begin crossing Flanders Street.

Fisher: “Flanders. Hey…”

Me: (thinking a Simpsons reference is sure to follow… our forays around Portland are punctuated by exclamations like “Hey! Lovejoy! Reverend Lovejoy!” or “Is Mr. Burns named after Burnside?”)

Fisher: “That was the name of a battlefield in World War I.”

Me: “It sure was. And did you know there’s a famous poem written about it, called ‘In Flanders Fields?’ “

Fisher: “You mean the one that has ‘We are the Dead. Short days ago/ We lived, felt dawn…’ I can’t remember the rest of that part…”

Me: “…”

Fisher: “I really like the line about ‘We lived, felt dawn…’ You can really tell what the writer was thinking about when he wrote that.”

(A few minutes later, we passed Verdun Chocolatier. Fisher: “Was Verdun a battlefield in World War I and World War II, or just in World War I?” Me: “…”)

Also also: I finally got around to writing my letter to Rainbow Resource Center telling them why I will no longer be a customer. Do you want to read it?

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Homeschool, Mini Activities, Portland, Things That Happened. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Conversations with the homeschooled

  1. Helena says:

    Have you run across this little gem?
    1. There is a young man from Peru
    Whose limericks end on line two
    2. There is a young man from Verdun

  2. Lynn says:

    re: Flanders, Rev. Lovejoy, Mr. Burns
    Hey, we must be using the same curriculum!

  3. Ute says:

    Ugh, I said recently to my husband, that your family is one of those really smart families, that I sometimes feel slightly un-intelligent next to. This post confirms this. 🙂

  4. eryn says:

    I’m going to mirror Ute’s comment. A third or so of the historical-type questions they ask me have one answer: “Ask your mom, dude. I have no idea.” Ha.
    Oh, and you should post that letter about the Rainbow Resource Center.
    See you Wednesday.

  5. RedMolly says:

    Eryn… hey, at least a third of the questions they ask me have almost the same answer. “I have no idea.” Sometimes, if I’m feeling charitable, I ask “Do you want to Google that?” More often, I say “These questions are making my brain hurt. My eardrums need a break.” Yeah, I’m a great freakin’ mom.
    Can’t wait to see you Wednesday! I sent the letter today… I’ll show it to you then. It was probably too long.

  6. Janelle says:

    I literally want to weep with happiness that you have kids who know what Verdun and Flanders are. I’m a dork, but it warms my heart and gives me hope, LOL.
    And do share the RRC letter!

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