Thursday, July 28, 2005

In a perfect world

A recent post on Barb's blog about a shared experience with a map got me thinking.
What would our educational experience be like in a perfect world?

In a perfect world learning would be as natural and easy as following a trail through the woods. It would be a journey you take because you want to, not because someone said you must. You choose the path and just go.
Some times you go for the thrill and excitement of discovering what is around the next bend or the over top of the next hill. Sometimes it's more about the little things you pick up along the way.
Sometimes it is about the motion, the progress forward-breaking through the brush no matter how thick. And sometimes it is about sitting quiet and still and really drinking in one special place.
Perhaps you follow the same familiar path, noticing new things each time you revisit. Then again, new paths are always exciting-not knowing what's ahead.
In a perfect world our education would be like that. A hike through the woods. A journey of choice, of pleasure, of discovery, of joy...

Cliche? Yes. But wouldn't it be nice?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Blessed Botanicals

I was lucky enough to spend some time this weekend with my friends Tara and Tony Mele on their farm in North Carolina. I love just being in their beautiful old farmhouse or out in the farmyard watching the chickens and goats, surrounded by gentle mountains-so relaxing. But what makes it even more relaxing is the wonderful herb teas that Tara serves throughout the day. She has a talent for combining herbs into soothing blends that are truly as beautiful to look at as they are wonderful to drink. She has been blending her own teas for family and friends for years and has recently begun marketing these wonderful teas at farmers markets and specialty grocers, as well as developing a website. I am pleased to hear that others are appreciating her talents as much as we do and her fledgling company, Blessed Botanicals is doing very well! Check out her website at
Tara was generous enough to send me home with a goody bag full of her teas, lotions, and cooking spice blends, and I have been trying them out one by one. My home now smells of rose petals, lemon balm, sassafrass, and clover...mmmm!
Tea time will be even nicer with this fragrant reminder of good friends and my far away mountain home.

learning lifestyle

Today I was cleaning up a bit in the bedroom and came upon some old National Geographics. I pulled a couple aside to show Superboy later and out fell a map- "The Earth at Night." Modgirl was there and immediately seized upon it. "Mom, this is such a cool map! I used to have this map. It shows all the lights and what they're from-check this out!"
So we did.
She and I sat on my bed and looked at this map for about a half hour-oohing and ahhing at the patterns of lights,"That must be the Indus River", trying to figure out what was where, "is that Hispaniola or Puerto Rico?", discussing why some areas were so bright and others so dark, turning it over to the regular world map to figure out what those little islands to the East of Madagascar were, and giggling at some of the names (Djibouti was a big hit)...
Big Brother heard all the commotion, came in and got into the act. Another half hour-"What are all the red lights? (natural gas burn-off). Why do they burn it off? Why can't they ship it to us? How do you ship natural gas, anyway? South Florida is like one continuous city, so is the north-east. That must be Phoenix, remember when we flew over it on the way to Alaska? Hey, you can see each city in Alaska-that's Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Barrow! Hey, there's Seward! I love that town. Why is Greenland mostly ice and Iceland mostly green? You know, Greenland isn't really that big. Iceland is splitting in two..."
And we haven't even started school yet!

Monday, July 11, 2005

antique tea cups and poetry journals

Modgirl, JBug, and I drove out to Micanopy the other day in search of antique teacups. We had the idea that to make Tuesday Teatime more special we would each pick out our own antique teacup and saucer to be used only for that time. We had so much fun oohing and ahhing over all the pretty cups. We finally chose the ones we wanted and one for SuperBoy (who was out of town) and had the best luck of finding a plastic one for JBug that looks as pretty as the real ones! She was thrilled to be getting her own special teacup as well!
Our plans for Tuesday Tea also include each of us sharing a poem aloud and copying them into our poetry journals. So, later in the week we went to Barnes and Noble and found some absolutely beautiful journals. With handmade, hand sewn, beautiful covers and thick, textured papers with flower petals, etc! We also picked up a caligraphy book and pen set (we need 2 more) so we can learn to write all fancy and poetic-like!
We ALMOST can't wait for school to start so we can begin using our new treasures!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

My way of thinkin'...

Modgirl is so quick to catch on. I don't know why I ever doubted her. She picked up right away on the idea of not having to do things the public school way. She is even telling her friends that they should homeschool so that they could learn the things they want to learn, too. Wouldn't that be nice?
Of course she realizes the importance of studying the things that will get her into college, and that she will do. She is not looking forward to American lit or American history (kinda down on the good ol' USA right now... where does she get that, I wonder?) but she knows she's gotta do it. She is looking very much forward to World Religions, Psychology, Biology and technology. She will also be doing Algebra II and Spanish-two more courses she will have to tolerate! So it sounds like she has about half and half of classes she looks forward to and those she knows she has to do anyway. I guess that's not too bad. Especially if we make them as fun (or painless) as possible, which I'm sure we can do. She has such a great attitude.
I don't know how I got so lucky to have such great kids. I just know I am thankful for homeschooling because it allows me to spend so much time with them, getting to know them well and build close relationships that hopefully will last a lifetime. I shudder to think that in only 3 more years Modgirl will be gone. Off to college and a life on her own. Precious little time...