On Thursday after he finished attending his lectures, my thoughtful husband asked me to be ready to go when he got home. He surprised me with a drive up the coast and a stop at a scrumptious vegan restaurant in Sebastopol called the Slice of Life. I'm not a hard and fast vegan, but don't tend to eat meat or much in the way of animal products anyway; that's been a natural transition over the last five years. The food was divine and I felt the day was as near a perfect day as a day could get (not quite perfect because by then I was missing Max!)
On the way back we followed Highway 1 south and noticed numerous turnoffs here and there that beckoned for attention. Had I been driving, we would have pulled off at every single one to see new things, take in the view. I thought about the yearning to know what's there and realize I have a tendency for pulling off the road as a homeschooling mom. We stop and follow tangents whenever needed to broaden the scope of a subject we are focusing on. Sometimes Max says, "why do I need to know this?" Not in a complainy sort of way, but in an honest wondering way of what he would possibly do in the future with the information that might be in front of him at the moment.
Thank you, Norton Juster, for addressing this very puzzling thing in your book, The Phantom Tollbooth! Here's the quote which now hangs on the fridge to remind us:
"And remember, also", added the Princess of Sweet Rhyme, "that many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you'll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow".
~ Norton Juster
Sigh. Isn't that exciting? I admire this sentiment and think it bears some attention. Go ahead and take those turnoffs while homeschooling - you never know how it will all come together in the future!