My mom used to use this phrase: not enough sense to come in out of the rain.
So what does that say about a boy who wants to go out whenever it rains? Or a mom who halts schoolwork to let him?
It could mean we’re both goofy and irresponsible. I prefer to think that he has a scientific curiosity and a burning desire to observe nature in action, which makes me a progressive, intuitive homeschooling mom to allow him to follow-up on those curiosities. Flexbility and delight-driven studies are benefits of homeschooling, after all. And Charlotte Mason, a founder of the modern home schooling movement, insisted that nature studies were essential to a rich education.
Okay, I’ve established credentials by citing an expert. I feel better.
So in the middle of the afternoon, Sean grabbed an umbrella and headed out into the thunderstorm. As usual, he squatted on the ground and stared intently for awhile. Usually he’s studying drainage patterns as the runoff finds the path of least resistance through the muddy garden. He IS a boy and can’t resist mud.
Today he was studying the shape, size and amount of hail. He had to bring in a few to show me while he described for me the differences in the pieces. Of course his sister said, “Eww!” and his brother smashed them on the ground (can we call that a scientific experiment? nah, that’s stretching it). Sean didn’t care. He’d seen what he wanted to see.
I love that about him. He was completely and totally absorbed in the moment, and then the moment passed. He was finished with his hail and ready to move on.
The whole episode lasted only 5-10 minutes. Sean satisfied his curiosity. I know he’s filing away information for future use. I can see the wheels turning. And I saw a fascinating interplay of relationships. For those few moments, none of the kids had a book assignment to work on. They were temporarily free to act as their characters and interests led them. I feel like a sociologist watching an experiment unfold.