Bouncy Homework

I have spent hours this weekend helping Michael with his two projects that are due tomorrow. And, after eleven years of parenting my remarkable son, I feel as if I have reached another level of understanding his miraculous body. One of his projects is for music class and Michael chose to research Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Michael chose Mozart because he had read that Mozart had trouble sitting still and needed to move constantly.

MozartSound like someone we know???

There was no such thing as ADHD two hundred and fifty years ago but it certainly sounds like Wolfie (as he was fondly known to his family) sure fits the profile!

Michael had done a fair amount of research by the time he and I sat down together on Friday. His music teacher had no idea that Michael was supposed to be using technology for all his written work so all the hours of painful handwriting had been for nought.

Michael’s and my deal was; he would dictate and I would word process. And so, on Friday afternoon we sat down together in the cool shade of the backyard. I had the computer in my lap and he had his research in his. What I quickly realized though was that Michael did not need his research. He had a thorough grasp of Mozart and had really tapped into who and what Mozart was.

BasketballThe trouble was that Michael could not get the thoughts out of his head while trying valiantly to sit in the Muskoka chair across from mine. And so, borrowing from Mozart’s own example of the need for movement, I asked Michael to get his basketball from the garage and start bouncing on the interlocking brick patio.


It was as if a dam had burst in Michael’s head and all the information came flooding out! And while Michael bounced the ball, I felt as if I was attending a university lecture on the life and times of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart complete with dates, details and cool little vignettes from Mozart’s life.

Michael had such a thorough understanding of Mozart and in such vivid detail that my fingers had trouble keeping up with his brain. After ten minutes or so of bouncing, he came back and sat down to check details and dates. It was fascinating to watch the energy build up again and to observe the almost desperate need for movement. And so, up he hopped, grabbed the ball and picked up where he left off in his Mozart lecture with ease.

Wouldn’t it be Radical if the school system was designed in such a way as to allow for that kind of damn-bursting-movement?

That’s what I’m dreaming up tonight!

Happy Sunday! 🙂Sports School




2 thoughts on “Bouncy Homework

  1. As I was reading your post, I had exactly the same thought. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our schools could be flexible enough to let children learn the way they need to learn, instead of a One Size Fits Most scenario? How fantastic for Michael to have so passionately connected to this important member of our history and for you to have found a way for him to express it!

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