Julie Lyles Carr: Thinking Caps

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thinking Caps

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It's happening.

The Back-to-School season.

The kids' friends are in the waning days of summer vacation and are trying to cram in a few more play dates and adventures before heading back to the classroom.

We actually school year-round in our homeschool. I found that for several of my kiddos, taking a long break meant I had to reteach a whole load of stuff when we got back to our books.

And I'm not keen on reteaching. And I'm all about efficiency models.

It comes with being the general of an army.

But our year-round schedule has adjusted mightily over the past few years. The younger kids have developed great friendships with kids in the neighborhood who are oh-so-conveniently right down the street. And the older kids are part of a vibrant youth group which hosts fun events and adventures all summer long.

Which means enthusiasm for running through some algebra problems around here has been a little, ah, soft.

I love having the kids' friends over all the time. They are beloved extensions of our family. And while it often means that they're all just doing the lazy summer thing, I will sometimes pull them into our activities.

The fabulous Miss LP was over a few days ago and I had let the kids peruse the brilliantly contrived pre-teen shows offered up to generation of our future. And I'd had about all I could stand of the drivel produced by such television.

I rallied 5, 6 and 9 of 8 (as Miss LP like to call herself) and told them to get to thinking--they were going to write their own story.

I gave them some brainstorming sheets for characters, settings and the like and sent them upstairs to start the creative process. I could hear ideas and enthusiasm flowing...loudly.

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After a period of time, 3 of 8 sneaked down to my office and told me he needed a camera. And why might 3 of 8 need a camera? He told me to sit tight and he would show me why.

He returned from his field ops with this gem...

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The writers had decided that in order to best develop and write their story line, they needed to put on their 'thinking caps".

Which, in this case, were hats and helmets from the costume box.

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Which made me laugh mightily.

And which made me marvel at their creativity.

And made me thankful that all the tween-t.v. mind-numbing is hopefully not taking.

Viva la Summer Homeschool!

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