Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The quiet, the quiet!

So O is at the cabin with my sis for the week. It wound up that I have to work a few says this week and couldn't go, but I'm really enjoying the time alone I'm having. Spending so much time with O and on parenting and homeschooling, I tend to forget to have a life of my own sometimes.

I've spent the time cleaning up and sorting out our place, and trying to plan out some work areas so they will fit how we actually use them. We, and O especially, are function over style kind of people, but we're also clutter-bugs and our work areas quickly get over-run in crap like pamplets and magazines (me) and video game cheat sheets and food wrappers (O). And we usually tend to just put a table in the corner and leave it there, even when it doesn't really fit how we're using the space. So, while O's gone, I'm going to work on getting rid of some of the crap and move stuff around. It's not that he gets in the way when he's here, it's just that, when he's around, things seem to never get done, I don't quite know why. Not to mention moving the computer table will necessarily involve turning off the computer, something that doesn't happen often while O's awake.

I've also put some time into coming up with a suggested reading list for the year, or at least the first few months. I'm wanting to put on a lot of classic gothic horror kind of books for the fall, to fit in with the weather and general dark and brooding kind of tone Winnipeg takes on in October and November. I'm having trouble coming up with lists of classic books for teenage boys, though. When I google, I get loads of "great books for girls", and few, desultory book lists for boys that either have books on it that O read in grade 3 or so, or are totally loaded with the "adventure" books (meaning 3 word sentences and lots of action that publishers think boys want to read.) I'm looking for a good list of classic books. I know what I would suggest for a teen girl, but I have no background in the good old swashbuckling kind of lit, and after putting down the obvious ones like Frankenstein and Ivanhoe and some R.L. Stevenson books, I'm kind of stumped. It's crazy that the librarians are a bit stumped too. There's been so much emphasis on trying to get boys to read, that they seem to have forgotten the boys who actually do like to read.

O's rate of reading has slowed down in the last few years. That one year in junior high really killed his love of reading for a while. His interest in books is slowly rekindling over the last year of deschooling, and, since I'm gong to be seriously restricting tv and video games for at least the first few months of the new school year, he should be back to reading several novels a week, which means that I'm going to be back to my almost constant hunt for good, interesting and well-written books. It seems that at the teen age, though, publishers are focusing almost exclusively on girls.

I've narrowed down some choices for books this year, got to take a good look at some recommended physics books, and realized one was far too advanced for O, too much math for the guy right now. I'm going to pick up a copy of the other one I was looking at, Science 101 Physics, it covers exactly the sort of wave and matter questions that O has been wanting to get into lately. Though O really wants to get into electronics and electrical engines and stuff like that, I'm hoping to also delve into energy a bit more too, specifically energy use and efficiency. I'm hoping to tie this in to doing a deep study of our own energy use and waste and figure out how to run our household as efficiently as possible.

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