There's always something to ponder in life, isn't there?
Not necessarily the Big Questions; just silly, farty, devil's-in-the-detail sort of stuff. Logistics, finances, time, people, they all take some sorting out...
As always, the best response to such nonsense is to wear some brightly coloured bit of vintage finery, to chase the cobwebs and befuddlement away.
1970s English Lady maxi dress - flea market
Faux fur coat - vintage fair
Cardigan, hat and bangles - charity shopped
Gloves and flower - retail (sale)
1980s boots - Second to None
Scarf - gift
One of the many questions under consideration at the moment is homework. More specifically, that of the Seldom Seen Kid.
We have Learning Log Issues.
I have a well-nigh pathological dislike of parents who do their kid's homework for them.
You might know the ones; they take over as though it was their own task, and produce fabulous work on their child's behalf, to the astonishment/irritation/amusement* of onlooking teachers and slacker parents like me who prefer to let their children live or die by their own efforts. (*Delete as appropriate, or feel free to add your own reaction.)
As my children have moved through school, I have consistently struggled with deciding where the boundary lies between offering them support and encouragement, and taking over so that the work is no longer their own.
We had decided on a Back Right Off policy for Seldom Seen. He's 10, he knows what is expected of him, and I thought he could manage to take some responsibility for his own learning.
It appears I was wrong, and this approach has failed, rather spectacularly.
So in an alarming volte face which has me stifling my resentment ("It's not my homework. I DID my homework") and gritting my teeth, we are now trying to approach Learning Logs as a team effort. I can't deny that spending more time with both SSK and Littlest (Eldest is thankfully independent and self-starting) is improving the quality of their work. And I am hoping that the ability to plan and edit and summarise will eventually rub off on them...
But at the moment, I feel I am in the driving seat, when I really want be reclining in the back and looking out of the window.
Still, Seldom Seen has been quite engaged with recent explorations of both Cubism and pop art.
Here's his homage to Andy Warhol, courtesy of PicMonkey.
We talked about the Factory, we listened to the Velvet Underground and looked at the cover of the Warhol "banana" album, we read about Valerie Solanas and Edie Sedgewick, and he asked me to define hangers-on and drag queens. We discussed whether a bottle of Coke or a tin of soup is a good subject for art, and whether a cartoon-y image of Marilyn Monroe is as beautiful as Botticelli's Venus or the Mona Lisa. We admired the remarkable prescience of his observation that In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes, in this age of reality TV and the internet.
Sure, I was asking the questions, but he was doing some thinking, and he was interested and engaged, and that's when learning happens. Not when you're bored and under pressure and lonely and anxious.
I'm learning right along with him, and not just about art.
I'm not always very good at admitting when I'm wrong.
But I have underestimated what my son needs from me at the moment, and I need to make it right.
And now he rather likes the Velvet Underground, which is a bonus.
A teacher at school, with whom I get on very well, recently described me as intractable, and I recognise the accuracy of the description. But I am trying to be less so. Intractability when you've clearly screwed up is just plain old pigheadedness, right?