Saturday, July 22, 2006

Clearer head and thoughts about school

This morning was the first since my orthodontist appointment that I didn't have to get up and immediately take ibuprofen. I guess my teeth are getting used to the turbo-charging rubber bands.

I also noticed in class today that my head was clearer; I could focus on what I was doing much more easily.

It was a good workout, too. Started with "marching"--doing kicks down the floor. I was glad I'd done some lap swimming the day before to keep up my cardio fitness because that kinds of stuff really gets a person breathing hard!

After we worked on forms, we also worked on some sparring--"technique today," said Ms. P.

I was paired up with Dillon, one of the junior black belts, and we worked on defending oneself against an axe kick.

"Oh good," I said. "Brian's always doing this on me."

Here's the news: it's tough to defend oneself against an axe kick. But we practiced a few things that will work, I think. I told Dillon not to tell Brian any of them (he was working today so missed out).

I enjoyed working out with Dillon. He's 12 and about my height. He reminds me a bit of Eli, with fair skin, fine hair, and a slender build. We decided that we liked working out with someone our size (he's about my height) rather than the usual tall people. And it was nice to be able to practice kicks to the head without having to stretch too much!

After class, I saw Dillon and John's mom.

"I have to tell you that I really enjoy your boys," I said.

"Oh, I'm glad to hear that," she said smiling. "It's nice to hear that from someone else."

I told her how I was impressed not just with their TKD skills, but also with their good behavior and the way they did not bicker with each other.

"And they're always really nice and talk with me even though I'm just an adult," I said, laughing.

"Lots of people say that," she replied. "I think it's because they're home-schooled."

I had thought they might be home-schooled. Several kids at the dojang are. I think TKD is a nice way for home-schooling parents to get the kids doing something in a group, and to get another adult involved with educating their child.

I think if anyone asked me, I'd say that my kids are home-schooled, too! Just not exclusively. All kids are home-schooled! They learn a lot from the culture of their families: to read for enjoyment, to exercise for fun, to treat others fairly, to be curious, to love learning, to persevere. And kids learn about their parents' jobs, especially when we work at home. My kids have learned much from travelling, since we love to travel.

Of course, it takes the right kinds of kids to home-school well. (I think Eli would take to home-schooling very well, but not Robbie). And it takes the right kinds of parents (patient, educated, intuitive, organized, energetic, willing to persevere . . . )

My hats off to people who do it well!

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