Tales of Narnia and homeschool woes.

I’m a bad blogger – I freely admit it. I started out, blogging frequently. Then the consistency stopped – we were moving and life grew even more chaotic than usual. Packing and planning. Then a few-day car trip with me and my children in one vehicle and the husband in the moving van. Unpacking, trying to turn new space homey. Organizing. Refilling my pantry, and picking up absolute must-haves. Holidays. Presents. Also homeschooling this year hasn’t been going as well as I had hoped – we love our Math and History, but everything else is just ‘meh’. Bland and uninspired.

 

I’ve been toying with ideas of new curriculum. I’m thinking about Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Trained Mind approach of classical education, as well as tweaking AmblesideOnline for a secular education, and also wondering about Oak Meadow. I want to raise readers; I grew up reading  – I read voraciously and this was a pleasure that I indulged in freely, reading age-appropriate as well as books far beyond my maturity level. I remember vividly the day that the Scholastic book form came into my fourth grade classroom. I looked through the books and set my eyes on the Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. I was intrigued and wanted that box set. I went home, clutching the book form and showed it to my parents in the hopes that they would bite, and allow me to order it. They did, and I waited for the arrival of those books like a child awaits the beginning of vacation, or their birthday.

 
They finally arrived, and I tucked them away carefully in my desk, not opening them. When school let out for the day and I was finally home, I removed the plastic wrapping and began reading. I fell in love with those books, and as much as I wanted to find out what happened, I never wanted them to end either. When the last book was finished, I put it with the other back into the box, and set it on my bookshelf.

 

 

I re-read those books every year. However, you only have one opportunity to read the Chronicles for the first time, and this past year, I read them to my children, thrilling at their interest and delight over their first time of experiencing the stories. (By the way, one of my daughters has the name of Aravis, taken from The Horse and His Boy).

 
These books (pictured  below) are 31 years old now. I got them when I was 9 and I recently turned 40. I can’t read them again, they’re far too delicate for that, but I can’t get rid of them either. I plan on getting another box set with full color illustrations, and I will put these away, in the same place my favorite childhood stuffed animals are.

 

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I truly hope to pass the love-reading trait along to my children.

 

 

What methods/curriculum work well for your family? Are you raising children who love to read? Do you incorporate living books into your homeschool? Do you piece together curriculum to tailor your family’s specific requirements, or do you find that boxed curriculum works?  I’d love to read to your feedback!

A messy collage of ramblings brought about by David Sedaris

A couple of nights ago I was standing in the kitchen eating a piece of the cake I had baked for my husband’s birthday and reading David Sedaris’s “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” on my Kindle. I came across an especially funny bit in the story “Memento Mori” and I began to laugh, a real, loud and deep belly laugh that left me breathless and also with a bit of urine in my underwear. Having had two babies in rapid succession, I don’t know, maybe I didn’t do enough kegels because I’ve noticed that if I laugh for a millisecond I tend to wet my pants a bit and this never happened before I had children.

Every time this occurs it spurs me into action and I do a few kegels, and then proceed to forget all about doing them, until the next time and then I tell myself that I must be vigilant with them, to not stop, to keep at it since I have no plans to ever stop reading and rereading David Sedaris’s books. So, then I do them, until my body feels like I can’t actually stop and then I have to go start doing something else to cease.


My husband turned 40 earlier this week and he showed me a picture today of himself from about 20 years ago. He was planning on throwing it out (we’re trying to really clean up our stuff in preparation for our upcoming move) and I said “Oh, you should keep it, after all, you’ll never look like that again.”, and he said “I wondered how long it would take for you to bring age up.” I tried to explain (successfully) that I didn’t mean it the way he took it, I simply meant it the same way I could see a photo of myself pregnant and say “I’ll never look like that again.” – Not younger, just in a different phase of life and he understood what I had meant and kept the photo. Besides, I can’t be the only one with embarrassing photos from the 1990’s that my children will one day laugh at.

Speaking of pregnant, two years ago my biological clock was going mad. The ticking was so loud I felt like everyone must be able to hear it. “What’s that noise?” I imagine I could have heard someone young at the food co-op ask their companion, “It’s got to be that woman over there. Yeah, her. If you look really closely, you’ll be able to tell that one of her eggs is drying up right… this… very minute.” the companion will answer. “Oh wow. Like, I had no idea you could, like, you know, be able to tell.”

I had always thought that if one had children then one’s biological clock function would somehow be halted. I was wrong. There were some months when my husband and I would sit together and watch something on the television when a commercial came on that would make me weep. Or a passage in a book would bring about a torrent of tears. Or one of my children would do something especially adorable  and I would just start crying. It could be just about anything and my long suffering husband would hug me and rub my back.