* Golfer informed an entire classroom of kids and teachers who were playing a game where you write down an answer quickly, “Hey, I don’t go to school, so I don’t write. Can I just raise my hand when I have the answer?”
* When asked to solve a math problem ‘the way you would at school’, Golfer again announced, “I don’t go to school, so I don’t know that.”
* The above quotes were at a community math class that Golfer begged to go to. First, he hung out in his class, for grades 2-4. Then, he asked to stay in and go to the class for grades 5-7. Two hours of math, and he loved it.
* It was in the second class that he was asked how to do double digit multiplication…which he’s never done before. Instead of being frustrated and feeling overwhelmed (and out of all my kids, he’s the one to get frustrated and overwhelmed at the drop of a hat) I watched him continue to raise his hand and repeatedly ask, “I don’t understand this yet, can you do it again, but slower?” until, by george, he got it!
* I was really amazed at his self confidence and ability to spring from what he did know to what he didn’t know but wanted to figure out. Also–the fact that he wanted to focus on hours of math rather than goof off with the other kids in class who were, well, goofing off.
* After the classes, Golfer and I had a date at Panera. We sat by the fire, eating our broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl, and had a discussion…a kind of which I only started having after allowing the kids to focus on answering their curiousity rather than the rote questions in a curriculum. It included such topics as: Mutually Assured Destruction, The Cold War, Minuteman Missiles, ‘Horton Hears a Who’, mass and gravity, Newton, why balloons float and hammers fall, a comparison between US and Russian military jet planes, battles of WWII, The Dark Ages, Barbarians, the Roman Empire, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, and Einstein. And, I wasn’t the one doing all the talking! I feasted more on our conversation than I did on my food.