At least for now, I’m still posting my weekly my weekly wrap-ups. If you want to join in, we’d love to see what is going on with you, so please visit Mary.
From where I sat this past week,
As an individual, I…
am ever mindful, when I begin to whine about being too busy, or tired, or overwhelmed, of the fact that God anoints us to walk through whatever we are walking through. I’ve seen in my own life how He gives strength that we don’t naturally have, He gives deeper rest when we lay down even more fatigued than usual, and He orders days that allow us to fully accomplish His purpose for us. All of this can happen if we just embrace His perspective and not our own regarding time and purpose. So as I read Dawn’s post on keeping joy in our days, I thank God for ordering my steps and keeping before me what is important.
As a wife and homemaker, I…
continue to weed/ cut back, and, hopefully this week, to plant and to mulch for spring. No pics this week, but I’ll try and take some more as we go along. It was our son’s turn to help me in clearing out dead plants in the midst of seeing the beginnings of this season’s garden peek through. I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that our children are good for about 30 minutes of yard work before they beg to go inside. This convinces me that next school year, we’ll begin on my schedule—mid-July to April, so that we can get outside when the weather is still pleasant. This isn’t the total answer, but it will eliminate the excuse that “it’s just so hot!!!!” Of course, in their defense, we did experience record highs of 86 this past weekend. On the other hand, given the number of high 90 and 100-degree days we have here, to say that you worked in 86 degrees is a privilege.
As a mom and homeschooling parent, I…
read Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book with the oldest, complete with a written narration that we dialogue about weekly. Adler’s book is every bit as dry as it sounds for a teenager—at least, for mine. I’ve enjoyed the very practical wisdom of this book in how to truly take in a book for what it’s worth, or how to make an intelligent decision about what to discard. I’ve said before that I wish someone had introduced me to this book before college. Of course, that’s the perspective of a 40+ woman looking back, so it shouldn’t surprise me that the oldest isn’t that excited about the book. However, we are now getting down to practical advice as we wrap up year 2 of a 3-year trek through this book, and near the end of a book. The sections we’ve read through are very straightforward—“How to Read a Play,” “How to Read Tragedies,” “How to Read Imaginative Works” (fiction). So now, she is beginning to “get it” as we read this together.
Interestingly enough, I placed my reading list on my other blog, and someone actually asked me what other audiobooks I needed. The blogger was then kind enough to upload a copy of Oedipus Rex for me—sweet. Adler says that Greek tragedies are difficult, in part because three were performed at one time, and because the direction of ancient Greece is entirely different than the way that we might direct a play. In other words, we don’t get the context of the play in just reading it. So as I get more comfortable with admitting my own inadequacies, I’ll happily use Adler’s brief synopsis and Invitation to the Classics to set the backdrop for this one and then see where we land.
There’s something bigger going on with the older kids and their work. I thought about it first when our son wanted to expand on what he learned about Eric Liddell, and felt like he needed to ask me before making what would be a welcomed digression in his commonplace book. It hit me again in reading Poeima’s comment, and the comments of others about their children taking off on their own to read books (and consequently hindering our plans for reading—HA HA). I remembered a time when the oldest got excited about E.B. White’s Stuart Little on her reading list—excited enough to read it on her own. Then she realized that it was a school book and backed off of her plan to read ahead. I thought about my own struggles as the “smart girl” in school, and how I’d “dumb it down” outside of class in order to make friends. Sure, it’s crazy, but it’s also my personal testament as to the perils of public school socialization. At any rate, I’m not sure where a homeschooler picks up that there’s something wrong with enjoying school; it is totally frustrating to witness this as someone who knows, past the television, what it’s like to be in an environment where your individuality and your intellect can get stifled in the quest to be as
mediocre cool as everyone else. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a constant occurrence in our home, thankfully. If it was, I’d probably be down a couple of kids by now (LOL). It’s just aggravating.
Enough ranting. The youngest and I will finish Bambi tomorrow. If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t read this book to a first grader; I think the older two got a lot more out of it listening from the dining room. It paints a picture—good, bad, and ugly—of the life cycle of a deer, and to a larger extent, the realities of animal life in the woods. But every day something or someone dies, and apparently male deer prefer semi-solitude as they grow older to maintaining an intact family—not the best message for a small one. We’ll start The Cricket in Times Square on Wednesday. I’ve not read it before, but I’m hoping we won’t be disappointed. We did add back Little Town on the Prairie from the Laura Ingalls Wilder series to make reading more enjoyable. Laura begins courting Almanzo in this book, and while the youngest might not get into it, it’s one of my favorite stories within the larger story. You know, I started a list of how many times I’ve read through certain classics. I might post this list at some point. I’ve read through Laura’s tale for the third time now! By the way, does something look different?
Yes, we are now officially a four-eyed family now. I have a friend who subscribes to the better-late-than-early homeschooling approach, and she swears that when children are early readers, it causes them to be glasses-wearers. I’m not so sure about that, and I think glasses are a dent on a Rolls Royce, so to speak, given that the ability to read opens a whole new world to a child. Having said that, however, it is a bit daunting to see my baby in glasses so early. Bless her heart, short of God’s intervention, she may wind up with eyes like my husband’s, whose vision is even worse than mine.
As a business owner, I…
have done little this week as we wrap up the church’s training, to be delivered on next week.
May the Lord bless your week as well.