Well, physically, we’re on the road again visiting our state capitol and enjoying parts of the “hill country.” It’s poured rain across the state, so much of our enjoyment has occurred from the hotel window.
Academically, where are we? Ahead in science, for once. Praise God! I once read that there is always a subject where families fall behind, or don’t focus on as much for various reasons. Reading this was truly freeing for me, as science has often been that subject in our household. It’s not intentional; I dearly enjoy science, and so do the kids. Yet, until this year, I had never found something that I could use without an overwhelming amount of effort. I guess I must have an uncommon household as most of the items for science experiments listed as ‘common household items’ sent me on a citywide shopping spree. Even then, I found myself in the position of having to order these same ‘common’ items. Consequently, we are always behind and have rarely completed an entire year of a traditional program. This year, we finally decided to use the Apologia elementary science program developed by Jeannie Fulbright. I even spent the money to buy Creation Sensation’s pre-packaged kit for this program. Though I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I paid someone good money for yogurt cup lids, balloons, flour, etc., we are all enjoying science this year! No more wild goose chases for Mom and Dad, and the kids are loving the projects, not to mention that their notebooks are gorgeous!
Spiritually, where are we? At yet another point of revelatory introspection. Lindafay’s blog on the power of boredom as a tool for building academic progress has me thinking about our kids, and to a larger extent, our western thinking about extracurricular activities. We have always had our kids involved in dance or gymnastics or various church activities, etc. Though I like to think that we’re free of the burden placed on homeschoolers to make sure our kids are socialized, I fully recognize mine and my husband’s influence on our children’s schedule. Personally, I grew up relatively poor, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I wasn’t exposed to many of the opportunities that come our children’s way on a regular basis. Like many African-Americans who came along during or after the Civil Rights Movement, I’ve been blessed as an adult to see more money than my parents made put together. Like any good parent, I want our kids to go places and do things that I never even dreamed about. So I push them into places that I couldn’t go. As for my lovable extrovert husband, after reading the same blog entry, he recognized his own part in what we’ve created. Quite the opposite of me, a day around the house with little to do is almost torture to him. Since we live near a major metropolitan area, there is always something going on. So between us both, for different reasons, Charlotte Mason’s masterly inactivity evades us without a conscious decision to stay home. So I decided that today we’d take advantage of the rain and our fall break, and we’ll have some time for masterly inactivity. There is dissension amongst the ranks, of course: the movie that the kids were fairly indifferent about became paramount in their minds after I suggested staying in. My husband began to make evening plans once I told him that I thought we’d stay in. I am laughing as I write about our unconscious inclination to always have something to do, but I stand undaunted. Almost as if it was confirmed by heaven, the storms have caused a power outage. No TV. I’ll keep you posted.