Thursday, August 15, 2013

soup 8.15

I took the day off yesterday and today. The kids are still here, of course, but we are at home, and quiet. Laying low. We need to do this once in a while, and especially now at the end of summer as I prepare myself to get back into the discipline and routine of school.

Our school plans for the year are to continue homeschooling Sam, and send Annie to public school kindergarten. There are several reasons. For one, we were happy with Sam's kindergarten experience and hopeful that Annie will have the same teacher. Two, we felt like it was a good introduction to Sam for what school is, meaning the kind of priority that it is, and having her familiar with the school routine gave us a head start when we began homeschool in first grade. It also made her appreciate homeschooling much more.(!!!)

For now I think that it will be good for Annie to have this opportunity too. It is the plan but anything can change. The past few years I fretted a lot over this decision- and it is a huge, important decision. But I have learned not to take it too seriously--

The question we will ask ourselves each year, with each child, is where can they receive the very best education, for their personality and temperament and learning style? I would like to think that most years that answer will be at home with me. But maybe it won't. We can be free to flux and change and prayerfully consider each year what is the very best education for each child. And now that I know we can homeschool- that we can enjoy it even- I feel more freedom to embrace the school idea, knowing we can always bring her home.

I am very excited to be joining a Classical Conversations community this year. After reading and hearing so so many positive things about Classical Conversations, and after meeting the wonderful people who are a part of our local group, I am so looking forward to joining this co-op once a week.

We are continuing to follow the Well Trained Mind curricula. We had a good experience with it last year, and so I didn't really think about not using it again this year.

A few good things I have read lately:


Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Wendell Berry meets Marilynn Robinson. This book was a very tall slice of blueberry pie, on a long pier on an August night in Maine. Dark chocolate with sea salt. The fist sip of a perfect cup of coffee. Rich, quiet, tender, thoughtful, lovely. For all of the reasons I read fiction, this book is it. I need to read everything by Kent Haruf.

The Flight of Gemma Hardy
This is a modern-day take on Jane Eyre. I like the idea of imagining a modern-day Jane Eyre, but probably any attempt would be set-up to fail. I found this especially unbelievable. This was a long read and almost entirely disappointing.

Good Links:

Mary, Martha, and the Main Thing
And then we think we’ve got it down, and then we begin to judge the actions of others and the moment we do this we’ve once again lost the plot.

On releasing perfection: simple homeschool
Stop looking for perfection in others and seeing only flaws in yourself. We are all imperfect. Crop out what isn’t working in your life and celebrate what is. 

George Saunder's Advice to Graduates: the NYTimes magazine
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.

Hard times, pretty pictures: small things
We’re all thrown in the deep end at one time or another, and it’s sink or swim, sink or swim.  And if you are counting on perfection in the world of parenting, you’re going to sink.
And since strong, competent high achievers earn human admiration, we are tempted to believe that they impress God in a similar way.
That’s the last thing Paul wants us to believe. Paul knew better than most that it is not human achievements that showcase the grace of God. It is human helplessness.

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