Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meanderings after Midnight...

I am up at 1 a.m. again...I did go to bed but was unable to sleep despite being tired. Sometimes I have so many things running through my head...ADD anyone?

Karl and I were able to go out to dinner alone tonight. We have a neighbor, 2 doors down, who has a 16-year-old daughter. When we moved in she and her daughter came over and brought us a grape pie to welcome us to the neighborhood...and those pies are to die for, by the way! Anyway, they left us their number and said to call if we needed a sitter. Of course we need a sitter...God is so good! Since moving here, in both locations, we've had available tweens/teens to sit with our kids...and we didn't have to DRIVE to pick them up. Yeah! So, I called her today and she happened to be available tonight...after 7:30. So we had a late snack and got ready to go out to a late dinner. It was so nice to just get away for an hour and a half, to sit together and talk about our day and enjoy a good meal. We tried a new place, a Mexican restaurant called Blue Cactus. It's right in the Village of Fairport...across the street from our realtor's office, actually. The food was very good, if slightly more pricey than most Mexican fare we've had. But, we got great food and service so I can't complain. I think it will be somewhere we'll go again, and Karl even says it might be a good place to take his customers.

I have been contemplating more about our home school... what type of 'curriculum' we should use, whether we should move to a more independent type curriculum or stick with what we've been doing (which involves more of my time)...that's actually one of the things 'running through my mind' tonight that was keeping me from needed sleep! I am reading many different books on homeschooling and homeschooling methods, trying to pinpoint my philosophy. It's interesting stuff. Actually it fascinates me how many ways there are to do this and how each family is different in their needs, philosophy, and methods. It's a learning process, and I have noticed that it is a constant state of learning..as is homeschooling (and life) itself. The quote I have on my blog, by G.K. Chesterton is coming to mean more to me the more I search.

The most important fact about the subject of education is that there is no such thing. Education is not a subject and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead the transfer of a way of life.

-G. K. Chesterton

When I first posted it here, it was more an ideal of what I would like education to mean to me. Now it's more of a reality. I am seeing each day that we all learn despite the curriculum I may use, and we learn best when it is something we are interested in knowing more about. Hailey can spout off facts about animals that I know I never taught her. She's learned these things from watching educational programs on the National Geographic channel, or reading about them in books, or in her National Geographic Kids magazine, or in the Ranger Rick magazine she and Logan get each month. Logan can do the same with facts about space, the planets and constellations, etc. All from watching program and reading. Though I have been working with Corbin on math and phonics, I have not gotten as much done this year as I had intended. However, he is still learning despite me and my failings. Almost daily he comes to me with new information he has acquired, either through his own thinking or with something he learned from his brother or sister. He can tell you what 4 + 4 is and I did not teach him that. He can now count to 30 (most of the time) and it's not because I have practiced with him. I will...but he is already learning these things. Amazing! Obviously there are things that each child needs guidance and help with, as do I, but it fills me with wonder how smart they are and how motivated they become to search out the answers when it is coming from themselves rather than something I have assigned. It really is a way of life...I like the way he puts it that it's a transfer of a way of life. I love that!

The kids and I actually left the house today..woohoo! It was a clear day, no snow, so I decided we needed to go to the post office, bank, and library. It was good for all of us to get out. We had a good time finding books we wanted and needed from the library. I was happy to see that each child, even little Corbin, is completely comfortable (if not completely then at least willing) asking the librarian for help in finding a book or movie. I remember being so shy as a child that I would not order an ice cream from the window at Dairy Queen, and calling someone (unknown) on the phone as a teenager required practicing first...even then I was shaking as I completed the call. If they get nervous they don't show it much and they surely don't let it stop them. :) I'm not sure what we've done to enable them to do this, maybe nothing. They order their own meals at restaurants too...maybe we started this at an early enough age that it's just normal for them? I'm just glad that they don't have the same hang-ups I did as a child...it can only help them in this life.

I have to say I am so looking forward to spring. We have only had 1 official month of winter, but we've had a lot of snow and VERY cold temperatures already...I'm looking ahead to the thaw. We're going to start planning the garden; yes we're going to try to have a real garden this year. I am also going to begin looking into which field trips we need to take. It's important to take advantage of the nice weather when we have it, because there is not a lot we can do right now unless I want to drive in the snow...I do not. Here are some ideas:
  • u-pick strawberries (this summer)
  • visit the sheep farm that is right down the street from us
  • visit the Dairy in Pittsford
  • visit the Longhouses that are around from the Indian villages
  • go to Auburn, NY to visit Harriet Tubman's adult residence
  • take the kids out to Lake Ontario...we still haven't been with them
  • possibly get passes to Seabreeze ( a local water/amusement park)
  • sign the kids up for VBS
  • possibly canning some veggies if our garden does well
I'm not sure what else we might do. Sometime this summer we hope to travel to AL to visit family, and possibly to FL to visit family and friends. We would also like to spend some time in GA at my in-laws' cabin on the river. However, we may not have the time to do all those things. We'll see...I'm just in the pondering stage right now.

It seems I've meandered enough. I think I've gone off on enough tangents that all of you must be completely and thoroughly lost by now! Good luck finding your way back...I know I need it.

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